Mehmet Canatan, head of the Mustafa Pasha Mosque Preservation Society, yesterday proposed that tourists visiting the mosque should pay an entrance fee.
The building was originally built as St. Nicholas Cathedral, in the Lusignan period (1298-1312) and is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful examples of Gothic architecture in the Mediterranean.
Mr Canatan says that such a large and historic building is expensive to maintain and that only last week, the carpets for the mosque were renewed at a cost of TL 75,000. This was funded by voluntary donations and a small loan. However there are other major maintenance works in progress including the purchase of a new chandelier at a cost of TL30,000.
Mr Canatan would like an entrance fee to be paid by the 500 tourists that visit the mosque daily.
The mosque receives no financial aid from the government.