CAIRO - Seeking to meet the needs of disabled Muslim worshippers, a Turkish district is planning to refurbish mosques for making the worship places accessible for people with disabilities.
We consulted with Religious Affairs about our ambition to renovate the restrooms at Tuzla's mosques in order that they would have the most hygienic conditions possible, Sadi Yazici, Mayor of Tuzla district in Istanbul, told a press conference cited by Hurriyet Daily News.
The mayor has unveiled plans to renovate mosques to make them accessible for worshippers with disabilities.
Under the plans, ÃiÃ§ekÃ§iler mosque in the district has been furnished with necessary equipment to be a disabled-friendly building.
A restroom suitable for the needs of disabled worshippers has been added to the mosque.
An elevator has also been added to facilitate the access of the disabled to the Muslim worship place.
Ground markers have also been added to the mosque's yard to help the vision-impaired worshippers.
The Tuzla mayor is also planning to enforce similar renovations to the 58 mosques in the district.
Muslims make up approximately 99 percent of Turkey's population.
Turkey has thousands of mosques, the most famous of which are Blue Mosque, which is marked with its blue tile work ornamenting its interior walls.
Turkish officials are also eyeing to turn all mosques across the country into disabled-friendly.
We want to see all of the 86,000 mosques in the Republic of Turkey have the same level of hygiene and accessibility, said Mehmet GÃ¶rmez, the head of the Religious Affairs Directorate.
The mosques should be appropriate for hosting women, and restroom conditions are therefore very important.
Every mosque must have a ladies restroom that complies with good health standards, he said.
GÃ¶rmez also opines that mosques should host activities that respond to young people and children's social needs.
It is a matter of aesthetics, but it is also a matter of public safety, since the vast majority of these mosques are not considered suitable by the Earthquake Directorate, he said.The building of mosques should take aesthetic standards into consideration because mosques are not only temples, but are centers of civilization.