Clarification of Keriya Etika Mosque’s Current Situation

I tweeted a tweet which suggests the 800 year old Keriya Etika (Aitika) Mosque has probably gone.

Bellingcat verified satellite imageries and suggested the north gatehouse of Keriya mosque was demolished but the prayer hall remains intact.

As I gathered more information on Keriya Mosque, I find my tweet could be misleading and need some clarification.

A more accurate description of Keriya Etika Mosque should be:

its alleged 800 year old prayer hall remains intact but its 1990s rebuilt north gatehouse was demolished.

  1. How old is this Mosque?

According to an article on the website of China’s Bureau of National Religious Affair Administration, Keriya Etika Mosque’s history can be dated back to 1200. But there was a major repair & renovation in the 1990s.

According to the list of Major Historical and Cultural Site Protected at the National Level, this mosque was built during Republic Era (1911~1949).

According to Map of Xinjiang Historical Buildings, published by Tsinghua University Press, this mosque was built in 1665 and has undergone 6 repairs.

2. What is demolished?

The whole north gatehouse (the building in the picture below) was completely demolished.

Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post

3. What is not demolished?

The main prayer hall remains intact. The south gatehouse also looks intact.

Image for post
Image for post

4. What’s difference between north gatehouse and prayer hall?

They are two separate buildings as shown in the picture below

Image for post
Image for post

5. Is north gatehouse a protected historical building?

It was “rebuilt” during 1997–1998. I have no information of what this building looked like before 1990s.

Although the sign hanged on the north gatehouse said it is a protected cultural heritage, I believe only the prayer hall is protected and the north gatehouse is not protected.

Image for post
Image for post

6. what does the prayer hall look like now?

this is a Oct 2018 picture, approximately 6 month after the demolishing of north gatehouse.

Image for post
Image for post

7. Is this situation common in Xinjiang?

At least 4 other medium to large size mosques are partly or completely demolished.

Artux Great mosque gatehouse was demolished.

Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post

Kargilik mosque major parts, including gatehouse and some halls, have been demolished

Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post

Aksu Moques is completely gone

Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post

Cherchen Mosque major parts are demolished.

Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post

Lastly, I have to apologize for the confusion my previous tweets caused.

Written by

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store