Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and folk singer Cat Stevens attend the opening of ‘Europe’s first eco-friendly mosque’ in Cambridge
- Cat Stevens, now Yusuf Islam, invited President Erdogan to the mosque opening
- ‘Europe’s first eco-friendly mosque’ cost £23 million to build and is in Cambridge
- Protesters planned demonstrations against Mr Erdogan’s visit to the mosque
Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan is attending the official opening of an eco-friendly mosque in Cambridge this afternoon.
The leader, who is in the UK for a Nato summit in Watford, was reportedly invited to Cambridge Central Mosque by British singer-songwriter Yusuf Islam, formerly known as Cat Stevens.
Mr Islam is patron of the Cambridge Mosque Trust, according to the mosque’s website.
Protesters have planned demonstrations against Mr Erdogan’s visit.
The mosque cost £23 million to build and has green features including air-source heat pumps, rainwater harvesting and solar panels.
‘Europe’s first eco-friendly mosque’ cost £23m to build and the award-winning building is designed to be naturally lit all year round by large skylights in the roof
President Erdogan, who is in the UK for a Nato summit in Watford, was reportedly invited to the mosque’s opening by British singer-songwriter Yusuf Islam, formerly known as Cat Stevens (pictured)
President Erdogan arrives by motorcade to attend the official opening of the new Cambridge Central Mosque
One group, which includes Cambridge Stop The War Coalition and Cambridge Kurdistan Society, wrote on Facebook: ‘We will be standing in solidarity with the Kurdish community against Turkish war crimes and against the oppression of any who dare to protest against the Turkish Government.’
Cambridgeshire Police said a series of road closures will be in place around the mosque on Thursday.
Chief Inspector Paul Ormerod said: ‘We are working closely with the mosque to facilitate the official opening which hundreds of people have been invited to attend.
‘Closing the roads allows everyone to attend safely.’
The force said that invited guests include ‘dignitaries, senior politicians and ambassadors’.
The mosque is described on its website as ‘Europe’s first eco-mosque’ which has green features including air-source heat pumps, rainwater harvesting and solar panels.
It has green features including air-source heat pumps, rainwater harvesting and solar panels
It was funded by more than 10,000 donations, ‘private and public, local and international’.
‘The main donor has been a consortium of government agencies in the Republic of Turkey, together with a Turkish private company (Yapi Merkezi), and the Qatar National Fund,’ the mosque’s website said.
The award-winning mosque building is designed to be naturally lit all year round by large skylights in the roof.
Members of the public wave flags as the President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, arrives by motorcade to attend the official opening of the new Cambridge Central Mosque
President Donald Trump and Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan leave the stage after the family photo to head to the plenary session at the NATO summit at the Grove hotel in Watford
It’s supplemented by low energy LED bulbs, while photovoltaic cells on the roof help generate renewable energy from sunlight.
The mosque is also heated and cooled by locally generated energy through heat pumps its basement.
Waste water and rainwater are used to flush toilets and irrigate the grounds.
The mosque scooped the 2019 Education and Public Sector prize in the annual Wood Awards and was named the best Community and Faith project 2019 AJ Architecture Awards for its design.
The mosque was designed by husband and wife-led architecture firm Marks Barfield who also helped create the London Eye.