Mandela supported mosque construction in Johannesburg, says businessman


Date posted: December 13, 2013

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA

Turkish businessman Ali Katırcıoğlu, who sponsored the construction of an Ottoman-style mosque complex, called the Nizamiye Külliyesi, in the South African city of Johannesburg, has said legendary South African leader Nelson Mandela, who passed away earlier this month, extended great support to the construction of the mosque complex.

Katırcıoğlu said when he first went to Johannesburg to launch the mosque project, he met with Max Sisulu, the current parliament speaker and asked him to arrange an appointment with Mandela for him.

“I told Mr. Sisulu that I very much wanted to see Mandela, who worked hard for the salvation of South Africa and whether I could have a meeting with him. ‘Let me think about this,’ Sisulu told me. A few hours after our meeting, I received a phone call from him telling me that Mandela would be waiting for me at 12 p.m. the next day,” said Katırcıoğlu, adding that he was very surprised to get a swift response from Mandela.

The businessman said although he was told to obey some rules before his meeting with Mandela, such as not approaching him too closely or asking too many questions, he was very surprised to see the South African leader stand up with great humility to greet him.

“I could not help embracing him. He hugged me, too. We were like two brothers. … Watching this, all the security guards were surprised. Everyone was looking at us,” he said.

Katırcıoğlu said he asked for Mandela’s support for the mosque complex project during their meeting.

“I explained the project to him. He understood the project, said it would be beneficial for the region and that he would always provide support for it. He also requested that we include a medical center in the project because there were many people with health problems in the country. This was an order for us. Upon his request, we added a medical clinic to the project. Its construction has finished and it will begin to offer medical services to the people very soon,” he said.

Katırcıoğlu also said he wept upon learning the news of the death of Mandela.

“It was like I lost either my father or brother because his support, which I always felt behind me, had disappeared,” he said.

In the meantime, South Africa-based Turquoise Harmony Institute has released a condolence message for Mandela.

“History will not forget Mandela, who ended the world’s most racist regime,” the statement said.

Last April, Mandela’s wife Graça Machel, accepted the Fethullah Gülen Peace and Dialogue Award from the institute.

Source: Today's Zaman , December 13, 2013


Related News

Kimse Yok Mu Receives “Outstanding Service Medal” in Somalia

A Turkish relief organization, “Kimse Yok Mu“, received “Outstanding Service Medal” for its welfare activities in Somalia. According to a statement released from the charity, Orhan Erdogan, the Somalia representative of the “Kimse Yok Mu”, received the award from Somali President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed on Friday. According to information, the president of Somalia said, “Turkish […]

Turkish FM calls on Gülen Movement for dialogue to find way out political crisis

Delivering constructive messages to move away from political crisis over the graft probe, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has invited the Fetullah Gülen movement to engage in “dialogue and a strategic look toward the horizon.”

Grondahl: Turkish community strong in wake of threats from back home

After a three-year hiatus, forced underground by fear of political retaliation from the repressive autocratic Erdogan regime in Turkey, members of the local Turkish community are re-emerging.

Message of tolerance, peace expressed at GYV’s fast-breaking dinner

A message of tolerance, dialogue and coexistence for people of different faiths and ethnic backgrounds was dominant at a fast-breaking dinner organized by the Journalists and Writers Foundation (GYV) on Thursday. “We have capital no other than love, no intention other than serving humanity,” Mustafa Yeşil, head of the GYV, said at the fast-breaking dinner, […]

Turkish women make a difference in Africa

“Kimse Yok Mu has been very active in Africa providing humanitarian and development assistance. State-level or diplomatic presence has occasionally followed the NGO presence in Africa,” Cevik told SES Türkiye.

Gülen-linked GYV brings message of peace, dialogue to polarized Turkey

The 20th anniversary of the traditional annual dinner hosted by the Journalists and Writers Foundation (GYV), whose honorary chairman is Fethullah Gülen, was held on Tuesday in İstanbul, with a message focusing on peace, solidarity and dialogue against the backdrop of a highly politicized climate that has recently divided and polarized Turkish society. “Let’s emphasize […]

Latest News

Fethullah Gülen’s Condolence Message for South African Human Rights Defender Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Hizmet Movement Declares Core Values with Unified Voice

Ankara systematically tortures supporters of Gülen movement, Kurds, Turkey Tribunal rapporteurs say

Erdogan possessed by Pharaoh, Herod, Hitler spirits?

Devious Use of International Organizations to Persecute Dissidents Abroad: The Erdogan Case

A “Controlled Coup”: Erdogan’s Contribution to the Autocrats’ Playbook

Why is Turkey’s Erdogan persecuting the Gulen movement?

Purge-victim man sent back to prison over Gulen links despite stage 4 cancer diagnosis

University refuses admission to woman jailed over Gülen links

In Case You Missed It

4-year-old visits dad in jail on Children’s Day wearing T-shirt with newborn brother’s picture

Enes Kanter: “I’m getting death threats almost every day”

Dr. Jill Carroll speaks on Fethullah Gulen and The Gulen Movement

PACE concerned over lack of domestic remedy for purge victims in Turkey

Gülen criticizes remarks insulting members of Hizmet movement

AK Party gov’t searches for scapegoat for stalled PKK talks

Turkish School strengthens ties with Turkmenistan

Copyright 2023 Hizmet News