The mosque is located in Bulgaria’s second largest city of Plovdiv and is famously known as The Stone Bridge Mosque.
The sad ordeal for Muslims in the city began in 1928 when an earthquake damaged the structure of the mosque. In order to pay for repairs, a small portion of the land was sold off. However, the money received was not enough to complete the repairs so it remained closed.
In 1944, the Soviet Union took power and seized the mosque. After the fall of the Soviet Union in , the properties were being returned but instead of issuing the mosque back to the Muslims, a court decided in favour of two Bulgarians who became the legal owners.
The two have rented it out since the 1990s and it has been used as a restaurant and an alcoholic bar.
“It is unbearable for us that the mosque remains closed for worship. It is even more grieving that it is used as a bar and serves alcoholic beverages," said Ahmed Ersin who is the Mufti of the Plovdiv region.
Muslims in the city tried to recover the mosque but the two owners have demanded a sum of 600,000 Euros. An attempt to raise the funds was spearheaded by Bulgaria’s grand mufti Alis Haji, but they were only able to raise half the required amount.
The grand mufti has said that they now have no choice but to challenge the legal owners in court and try to regain the mosque.