Row over mosque in Bucharest

Plans for the largest mosque in Romania to be built in the country's capital Bucharest in the next few years are going ahead. The Romanian state will provide the land while the Turkish government finances construction. The plans are provoking growing protests in the country. The Romanian press assesses the deal.

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România Liberă (RO) /

Iohannis duped by Erdoğan

Turkish President Erdoğan skilfully duped his romanian counterpart Iohannis during the latter's official visit to Turkey, the daily România Liberă writes commenting on the plans for a mosque in Bucharest:

“Apparently Iohannis demanded nothing but a measly [Orthodox] chapel that will probably be built somewhere on the outskirts of Istanbul in exchange for the construction of the mosque. There wasn't even any mention of the old project for a cable under the sea through which Romania wanted to supply electricity to Turkey. Yet Turkey is a country with few energy resources but plenty of potential. … Erdoğan has inherited from the Ottomans the skill of making his guests feel more important than they are. … Iohannis was welcomed with a military ceremony including the firing of 21 cannon salvoes which only sultans offer their guests. … In the end, however, Erdoğan will despise him for letting himself be tricked and making it so easy for him to turn the president of an EU state into a vassal of his court.”

Deutsche Welle (RO) /

Romanians equate mosques with terror

The Romanian service of the German broadcaster Deutsche Welle looks at why many Romanians reject the mosque:

“All those who are against the construction - and it seems that's the large majority - aren't worried about religious problems but rather refugees and Islamic terror. That is regrettable, and the rancour of local Muslims (Turks and Tatars who've lived here for centuries) is all too understandable. Nevertheless the mosque has become the symbol of a menacing political reality. That is certainly unfair - all the more so because it is supposed to be financed by Turkey and not Saudi Arabia. ... However the real problem isn't the mosque but Chancellor Angela Merkel's welcoming policy and Europe's clear inability to come up with an answer to Islamic terror. True, Romania is not yet directly affected by such terror. But sooner or later it will also have repercussions for the countries of Eastern Europe.”