Kocatepe Mosque is one of the lesser-known tourist attractions in Ankara. Located in downtown Ankara, it is the largest mosque in Turkey’s capital, with a capacity of 24,000 people.
What you’ll find in this article
- Kocatepe Mosque
- History of Kocatepe Mosque
- Information for visitors
- Where is Kocatepe Mosque?
When tourists visit Ankara, they generally see a handful of sites, such as Anıtkabir or Kızılay, but most of the time, Kocatepe mosque is not among them. However, this vast mosque is one of the most unique sights of Ankara.
The mosque is located in the Kocatepe quarter of Kızılay district, at the very heart of the city. You can easily walk to the mosque from central Kızılay. It’s about a 10 minute walk.
History of Kocatepe Mosque
The construction of the mosque took a long time. The foundations were built in 1967, however it took 20 more years for the mosque to be completed. The first architectural plan of the mosque was found to be “too modernist” by the conservative wing in Turkey. Due to heavy criticism, a modified version was designed and was accepted as the final form of the mosque. Kocatepe Mosque was opened to public in 1987 by then president, Turgut Özal.
If the initial design was approved, the architectural style of Kocatepe Mosque would have been similar to Faysal Mosque in Pakistan’s capital Islamabad.
The current design was inspired by the architectural style of the world-renowned Ottoman architect, Mimar Sinan. Moreover, the interior of the mosque was designed based on old Ottoman Islamic style. The mosque can accommodate up to 24,000 worshipers.
Information for visitors
Since Kocatepe Mosque is an active complex of worship, it is free to visit the mosque.
The mosque is open from 5am to 11:30pm everyday.
In case you’re wondering, people from all religious backgrounds can freely visit the mosque. However, it is expected/obligatory to follow Islamic customs of entering mosques, such as taking off your shoes and being dressed modestly etc.
If you visit the area with a car, there is a parking lot under the mosque where you can leave your vehicle. If not, you can park your car at any other parking lot for 15-20₺ (around 1$) per hour. “OTOPARK” in Turkish means “parking lot”, which is a useful information if you are planning to leave your car at a parking lot.