Turkey is building a $100 million dollar mega Mosque in Maryland that will span 15 acres in the town of Lanham. There are currently over 1,200 mosques operating in the US, and 80% of those have been built in the last 12 years.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, claimed that Obama had not only agreed to the construction of a Turkish-funded mosque in the state, but gave his approval, and may attend the opening himself. Of course the White House has denied that any such opening is on Obama’s schedule.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu and Obama.
Çavuşoğlu recently visited the ‘Turkish-American Culture and Civilization Center’ during a three day trip to the United States. Hurriyet reported that the Turkish state media outlets, who were the only outlets allowed to attend and report on the event, quoted Çavuşoğlu as saying that Obama had approved a larger Turkish mosque at the center, which already has a small prayer center.
Çavuşoğlu claimes that Obama had “accepted in principle” the plans: “During a phone call, President [Recep Tayyip] Erdoğan asked Obama to accompany him in opening the center together and Obama accepted his offer in principle.”
White House National Security Council spokesman Mark Stroh denied that Obama had made the agreement: “We don’t have any conversations to read out for you. And no travel or Presidential engagements to announce.”
The Muslim Link reported that the Turkish American Culture and Civilization Center (TACC) is a project of the government of Turkey and is meant to “serve as a social, cultural, and religious center for all visitors, including activities for the promotion and introduction of the values of the Turkish Civilization” according to an information packet distributed by TACC at the invitation only ground breaking ceremony.
The cost of the 5-buidling complex is estimated to be around $100 million according to sources familiar with the engineering aspects of the project. The entire complex will be serviced by an underground garage.
The TACC Center will consist of five main buildings: a masjid constructed using 16th century classical Ottoman architecture that can hold 760 worshipers; a two-story, 19,990 SF Cultural Center Building including a 220-seating performance hall; a 9,850 SF recreational building with a 180-seat restaurant and traditional coffee shop; a 43,450 SF traditional Turkish bath for up to 22 people at a time and indoor pool and sports center; and 18,500 SF of guest housing including 16 one-bedroom apartment units. The complex will have very limited above ground parking and most cars will park in the 150,700 SF underground parking garage which gives direct access to all the main buildings. A few traditionally designed residential buildings, Turkish gardens and fountains, and outdoor recreational areas will also be a part of the complex. Images courtesy of TACC.
Pictures courtesy of Google