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Turkey's Erdogan In Minsk To Unveil Grand Mosque

  • RFE/RL's Belarus Service

Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenka (center) and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (left) at the opening of a new mosque in Minsk on November 11.

Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenka (center) and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (left) at the opening of a new mosque in Minsk on November 11.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan held talks in Belarus, where he will hold talks with top officials and attend the unveiling of a mosque in Minsk.

Erdogan and his Belarusian counterpart, Alyaksandr Lukashenka, discussed bilateral trade and economic ties and attended a bilateral business forum.

Erdogan will attended the unveiling of a new grand mosque, funded in part by Ankara. The new mosque has been built on the site of a historic mosque in Minsk.

The old mosque, built by Belarus’s Lipka-Tatar Muslim community, was damaged by communists during Soviet times.

Lipka Tatars settled in what was then the Grand Duchy of Lithuania during the 13th and 14th centuries. Small communities of Lipka Tatars live in modern-day Belarus, Poland, and Lithuania.

Most members of the ethnic group no longer speak their native Turkic language, but they have preserved their religion.

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