Muslims in Balkans hail Islamic center inaugurated by Erdoğan


 ISTANBUL SEP 09, 2022 – 5:02 PM GMT+3

A view of the Islamic Center, in Sisak, Croatia, Sept. 9, 2022. (AA PHOTO)

A view of the Islamic Center, in Sisak, Croatia, Sept. 9, 2022. (AA PHOTO)

Muslims across Balkan nations welcomed the inauguration of an Islamic center funded by Türkiye.

Earlier this week, Erdoğan concluded his three-day tour with stops in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Serbia. In Croatia’s central city of Sisak, Erdoğan opened the Islamic Cultural Center, which was funded by Türkiye.

Those who participated in the opening ceremony shared their joy with Anadolu Agency (AA).

Mirsada Biljeskovic, who lives in Germany but traveled to Croatia for the opening ceremony, said the center will benefit Muslims in the region. “I am very proud here. Many people, including me, think it would be beneficial for all of us because it is a positive situation. I dedicate today to our President Erdogan,” said Biljeskovic. Zikrija Hodzic, who has been serving as an imam for eight years in Slovenia, said Erdogan’s visit and support are of great importance for the Muslims of the region. “The opening of the Islamic Cultural Center represents a great opportunity for Muslims to spread our good faith, establish dialogue, promote our culture and religion,” said Hodzic.

Imam Aljo Cikotic, who traveled to Sisak from Bosnia and Herzegovina for the opening, said the center will be a bridge connecting Türkiye and the Balkans. “The opening of the center is the 55-year-old dream of the Muslims of Sisak. I am very happy to participate in this historical program … This is a project that will last for generations. “Today’s opening actually shows the desire to build places where Muslims can pray freely throughout history.”

“Today, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan gave great support here and this is the place in return. It will bear his name. This will also be a bridge connecting Türkiye and the Balkans,” said Cikotic. Erdoğan, at the inauguration ceremony on Thursday, said Croatia is among the countries in Europe which sets itself apart with respect to the freedom and peace it offers Muslims.

The Balkans is a priority for Türkiye not only for political, economic, and geographical reasons but also for its historical, cultural, and human ties with the region.


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