The Svest organization from Ohrid is planning to hold protests in the ancient city’s bazaar against the construction of a large minaret at the Ali Pasha mosque.

The mosque was built in the late XV or early XVI century, following the Ottoman conquest of the city, and the minaret, which used to tower around the bazaar, was toppled in 1912, after the Ottomans were expelled in the First Balkan War.

Christians in Ohrid protested against its reconstruction. The city is the seat of the Macedonian Orthodox Church and is an important destination for Orthodox pilgrims from the Balkans and beyond. While a number of mosques service the city’s Muslim community, the Svest association opposes the rebuilding of a minaret in such a central location. Work recently began, the structure is slowly taking shape, but the association claims it is being done without proper permits. Prime

Minister Zoran Zaev came out against rebuilding the minaret if the Islamic Community doesn’t have the proper paperwork.