Building a new mosque is a long-standing issue in Batumi.
Muslims have been fighting for the permission to build a mosque in Batumi since the 1990s. Today it has become a more pressing and controversial problem. The muslim community claim that due the the fact that there is only one mosque in the city, local believers as well as muslim visitors to Batumi cannot attend the service. There is a big controversy surrounding the issue. Some see it as part of the Turkish politics, claiming they are eager to finance the construction with an intention to occupy Ajara later on (according to the Russian state TV). For the last 8 years the Georgian government have been promising the Muslim community to settle the issue and build the mosque at their own expense. In 2016 the government refused to allot a building site. The muslim community purchased the site themselves for the construction of the mosque, however, Batumi City Hall didn’t issue the permission. The case is still being sued.
My photo series was shot on Friday, the prayer day.