Istanbul (AFP) – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Saturday that the Americas were discovered by Muslims in the 12th century, nearly three centuries before Christopher Columbus set foot there.
“Contacts between Latin America and Islam date back to the 12th century. Muslims discovered America in 1178, not Christopher Columbus,” the conservative president said in a televised speech during an Istanbul summit of Muslim leaders from Latin America.
“Muslim sailors arrived in America from 1178. Columbus mentioned the existence of a mosque on a hill on the Cuban coast,” Erdogan said.
Erdogan said that Ankara was even prepared to build a mosque at the site mentioned by the Genoese explorer.
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