Basescu about the mosque in Bucharest: In exchange, land for an Orthodox church in Istanbul was expected. PM Ponta: I implement an agreement between Romania and Turkey
Former President Traian Basescu said on Monday that talks between Romania and Turkey on the construction of a mosque in Bucharest were carried out for 14 years, and simultaneously with the mosque it was envisaged the construction of an Orthodox church in Istanbul to bear the name ‘Constantin Brâncoveanu’. Prime Minister Ponta was the only one to give up to the demand.
“For over 14 years bilateral talks between Romania and Turkey were carried out, aimed at building a mosque or mosques in Bucharest simultaneously with the construction of an Orthodox church in Istanbul, which was to be called the ‘Constantin Brancoveanu Church’. “Nobody dared so far to give up to this parity. It seems the only one to give up on this demand was Prime Minister Victor Ponta,” Basescu said upon leaving the premises of People’s Movement Party (PMP).
The former president said that such a project should have been implemented when the Romanian side received land in Istanbul.
“Have you heard about land for construction of a church in Istanbul to be called ‘Constantin Brancoveanu’? No,” said Traian Basescu.
The statements were made after Traian Basescu was asked about his tough attack, in a posting on his Facebook page, on the initiative of Romanian authorities to allocate land for the construction of a mosque in Bucharest.
PM Ponta: I implement an agreement between Romania and Turkey
Prime Minister Victor Ponta said on Monday for Antena3 TV, referring to the project of a mosque that would be built in Bucharest, he is implementing an agreement between the Romanian state and the Turkish state, an understanding discussed also by former President Traian Basescu.
“The former president of Romania, Traian Basescu, has negotiated a good thing for Romania (…), namely the Turkish state gives land, a plot already identified, for a Romanian church or a place for Romanian pilgrims and the Romanian state gives land to build (a mosque), but not to Turkey, it gives the land to the Muslim community in Romania. (…) So, an agreement between two countries, two countries that have a strategic partnership. ( …). I did no more than to implement an agreement between the Romania and Turkey, an understanding discussed by former President Traian Basescu, discussed again by the current President and that seems to me a good deal for Romania,” Ponta said.
“I think Mr. Basescu had no problem neither with the mosque, nor with Turkey, nor with anything, but being a bit ignored by the world – you saw him every day having a conflict with someone (… ) so that the media talks about him, but he did this in an irresponsible manner (…) namely targeting issues he accomplished, and ironically, things done well for Romania,” said Ponta with regard to Basescu’s statements on the subject.
Asked about the progress of this agreement, Ponta said: “I do not know how it would evolve, because after the scandal the deal might be off. (…) The Romanian state does not give any money, it offers land as it did for other organizations (…). It gives a plot of land in Bucharest, without any money, and the Turkish state makes available a plot of land in Istanbul to the Romanian state, to the Romanian Patriarchy. We are to build the church, a place for pilgrims, something which, in my view, is highly civilized and European,” Ponta added.