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The Muslim Link

'A Symbol of Friendship' : Turkish PM Lays Stone for $100M Masjid Complex In Maryland PDF Print E-mail
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Community News - Community News
Written by Muslim Link Staff   
Friday, 17 May 2013 14:31


phoca_thumb_l_24 On Wednesday, May 15, 2013, Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan placed a ceremonial stone on a 15-acre construction site in Lanham, Maryland that will likely become the largest and most striking examples of Islamic architecture in the western hemisphere.

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 project is well underway, and two industrial cranes tower over the skyline along Good Luck Road. Concrete and steel pillars are up, and even two small domes are already visible. TACC leaders estimate the complex will be completed by October 2014.

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 Muslim Link covered the ceremony  and presents these images to capture the event as well as the monumental construction project for our readers. -- TML



Prime Minister Erdogan talks about what the TACC center means to Turkish Americans as well as to American society at large. He criticized groups promoting Islamophobia and urged the many Turkish graduate students to get involved with the project. He also delighted the crowd of several hundred guests by saying he will come back for the October 2014 opening ceremony "if he is still around". Photo by Muslim Link.


An April 2013 photo of the 15-acre construction site. TACC says about 30% of the construction is completed. Photo courtesy of TACC.












PrimeMinister9 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.



The American and Turkish flags fly high above invited guests like Jameel Alim-Johnson from the Prince George's Muslim Association (foreground). Most of the invitees were Turkish diplomats, business leaders, and community members, but there were a few dozen non-Turkish representatives of area masajid and Islamic organizations from the DMV area present, including ISNA President Mohammad Magid and ICNA President Naeem Baig. Photo by Muslim Link.


Dr. Yasar Colak, head of the Executive Board of TACC expressed his deep appreciation for the Prime Minister taking a personal interest in seeing the TACC project to completion. Photo by Muslim Link.


Maryland's Secretary of State John McDonough delivered greetings from Governor Martin O'Malley and talked about the sister city relationships between Turkey and Maryland. Photo by Muslim Link.





Comments (50)
  • S. Abad Ahmad
    An excellent step in promoting us- turkish relations as well as cementing inter-faith rlations between christianity, judaism and islam.
  • Debbie Anderson  - That is a lie.
    No place in the world does Islam tolerate 'infidels'. The Internet is full of proof that Islam is a scourge to all humanity, including Muslims and especially to the people of the book.
  • J. Mustafa  - Have you ever...?
    Have you ever traveled off your couch Debbie? With the exception of a handful of predominately Muslim countries with very dysfunctional governments and other social ills, Islamic countries are extremely tolerant and welcoming of non-Muslims. I live in the United Arab Emirates and there are plenty of churches where Christians gather and worship in peace and live very good lives. A 15 million dollar church opened in Qatar in 2008 and more have been build since. The government of Qatar gave land to various Christian groups to build new houses of worship. The tiny island of Bahrain has around 20 churches. Do you recall reading of any widespread intolerance in the sampling of predominately Muslim countries I've mentioned? Best wishes.
  • Aymen Khan
    No wonder you BELIEVE internet.. If you want th etruth why not read the Qura'an and know it firsthand whether its hate or love that is preached in ISLAM for the People of the Book. No harm in that unless you scared that the Truth will pull you to it.
  • JCC
    Debbie, You're an short sighted idiot. Mass death and horrible actions have been taken in the names of all religions at one point or another. If you actually knew any educated muslims, or had traveled as J. Mustafa commented, you would know they are a very kind people and NOT judgmental at all. I'm a Dallas, TX born and raised white american, and now live in the United Arab Emirates. I've been all over Turkey, Qatar and Oman, and Arabs couldn't be kinder. OF COURSE there are sects that have ill will or 'extremist' views, but look at westboro baptist church. Are you saying they are kind and good christians? You just need to do some non-biased reading and do a little traveling.
  • Dan Was-sim  - Its time to come out of the dark ages and coexist
    Infidel (literally "unfaithful") is a pejorative term used in certain religions for those who do not believe the central tenets of one's own religion, are members of another religion, or are not religious.[1][2] Infidel is an ecclesiastical term in Christianity around which the Church developed a body of theology that deals with the concept of infidelity, which makes a clear differentiation between those who were baptized and followed the teachings of the Church versus those who are outside the faith.[3] The term infidel was used by Christians to describe those perceived as the enemies of Christianity. In other words Debbie Muslims don't go around calling non believers or Christians infidels its an American word that believing Christians used to describe non believers.
    The song title say it all.
  • Ahammad Sulayman
    I am a African American, this is great ,this mean we have came a long ways in the U.S.A, (Allah always help us to understand what to do in the best way)
  • Anonymous
    Mashaallah, may allah continue guide us all and bring success on this earth for all mankind
  • Queen Sheba Cisse  - Founder/Executive Director Of Queen Sheba Village,
    Al Hamdulilah for a Momumental Step serving Humanity!
  • Steve James  - Reciprocation
    Hopefully a western leader will soon be planting the foundation stone of a massive christian or atheist centre in Turkey
  • Linda
    Turkey is the country that has THE most Biblical history! They'll NEVER allow any new churches/synogogues to be built. It is no longer the secular nation created by its founder Ataturk! When the akp came power they began their agenda to take over Christian sites. NOW the Church of Nicea is an active mosque...and the desire is to take over the Saint Sophia Church once again and make IT a mosque. To allow this huge complex in the USA is just inviting the islamists to take over our culture and our country with open arms. They are using our tolerant nature to move right in. They are already using our laws and our rights AGAINST us to get their way! God help us!
  • truth  - absolutely right
    absolutely right, very scary times ahead
  • Richard Douglas  - Hagia Sofia -- St. Sofia
    If you go to Istanbul, Linda, by all means visit Hagia Sofia (St. Sofia) which is, indeed, a mosque and open to the public. Thousands visit every day. The Turkish people have taken excellent care of this ancient sanctuary, and do not in any way at all try to hide its Christian origins. In fact, my experience there made clear that Turkey considers St. Sofia to be an architectural and historical treasure. If you visit Hagia Sofia, you will see that many of the ancient artworks on its walls were erased. This was not done by the Turkish forces which conquered Constantinople in the 15th Century -- it was the work of Christian iconoclasts centuries before the Turks took the city. Linda, I am no expert on Islam or life in muslim countries, and I don't know about your life experience. It is not my place to judge anyone. What I know I learned from service in Iraq, and many visits to Afghanistan, Yemen, Pakistan, UAE, Turkey, Djibouti, and elsewhere. I try not to stereotype, and to keep an open mind. From time to time I visit Section 60 at Arlington to remember people I served with in Iraq and others. Among them are the last resting places of fallen American soldiers who were also muslims. What I have written here will displease some readers, who will mock my "dhimmitud" and so on. Respectfully, I don't think trying to sort things out based on experience, understanding, and even generosity makes us a subject people in our own land. It makes us Americans. I think we should have more faith in the strength of our civic culture (most of it, anyway) and democracy. The overwhelming majority of people who come to us from foreign lands come here to grow in it, not to destroy it. Happy 2014!
  • Aziz  - Re: Reciprocation
    Better you would say that a western leader will forcefullly take over another islamic country in order to plant the foundation stone of a "democracy" and destruct the cities, houses, mosques, schools and etc. instead of building. Steve, this is the way the west reciprocates in reality and it is very obvious.
  • Buzz Seydel  - Maryland masjid
    These are dark days for America. Creeping sharia is taking hold,over 2000 masjids now in this country.
  • Rue
    we need more pig farmers
  • max latham  - Ded icate
    Needs crirtning with lots of porcine hemoglogin
  • Rue  - Jesus is the son of God
    No matter what they do Jesus will not let them have Israel. When the holy war starts and it will, Jesus will be the winner..and them 7 virgins will be a big joke..God does not lie, but religions do.Jesus will forgive if they repent and stop all the killing .He is a God of love not hate or murder are lieing.
  • Aymen Khan
    Of course Jesus will win, thats what Quraan States an dthats what we believe. We have more claim on Jesus. We dont make fun of him, we dont create jokes on jesus. We respect and adore AND BELIEVE in him. We follow the teachings of Jesus, we follow the appearance of Jesus. Ask yourself if you love Jesus are you people following his teachings? maybe yes or maybe no..GOD Knows the Truth. jesus forbids homosexuality, abortion, adultery, interest but you guys do all these things. you have brought only pain to Jesus. How painful is it to him that people who claim to be followers of jJesus DONT follow his teachings and make fun of him. Irony!
  • Nazzy  - Allah u Akbar!!!
    MashAllah, What a nice one. May Allah bring all of us Muslims together and closer to Allah. May Allah direct non belivers to the right path which is Islam We Muslims all want unity between and happiness between Kafer and us. Allah u Akbar. Great job Turkish government and the brothers that are working hard on the Musjid. To all non-believers, once the Majid is build, please go and visit, maybe Allah will open your hearts to his religion which is ISLAM InshAllah!!!!
  • virginia lvr  - usa is home
    ALLAH O AKBAR!!! GOD IS GREAT:) We muslims have lots of patience and Allah (swt) rewards his patience slaves. The media has done us wrong in every way...especially the jews (90% of media is run by jews). PATIENCE IS A VERTUE! Rue, I smell burning, need help in putting the fire off....
  • Mertze Dahlin  - From storefront mosques to traditional beauty
    I am a Swede/Finn/American Muslim, and I am happy to see a site as beautiful as you are constructing to be available to the many people as of my heritage who have come to appreciate the wonders of Islam. When some people complain about the churches being converted to mosques, it is because the churches are empty and are for sale. We do build mosques on puchased vacant land but also purchase and restore earlier religious buildings to be, once again, a place to worship God.
  • Kausar Zaman  - Thank you USA
    As a Muslim who has made USA my home for the last forty two years, I am eternally thankful for the freedom that I was given here rather than my land of Birth. A mother can go to a mosque with her children and teach them love, respect and compassion for one another. The Quran says again and again "we are all children of one God". Thank You USA for a allowing a foreign Government to come here and build an institution. It would be close to impossible to do it in any Muslim country.Wake up Muslims and smell the rioses. I am blessed to be raising my children and they are raising theirs as well a annd spending the rest of our life here. Thank you USA.
  • Khalil  - Thanks to Allah; The God of Adam, Nooha, Abraham,
    Dear Brother; Allah is the creator of the heavens and the earth, He is the Musabbe-ul-Asbab (Things Causes to be done). If you are in USA this is HIS will. Allah wants you to be here so HE created the ways and made it easy for you. Allah says in Quran in Surat Al-Hood "He who knows where you stay and where you die(11-6). So the thing I need to emphasize is that it is good to say thank you to the people but you should also have an element of gratitude for the GOD. If U.S. government is good and letting you to built a mosque on their land that is a great things but keep it mind it is Allah who put this kind and / or consideration and forbearance in their heart to allow you to built a mosque. Again Allah performs things in his own ways which is beyond our comprehension. Since, our thinking is limited so we always try to link it with some one; otherwise Allah said in Surah Talaq " Verily Allah is sure to attain His purpose, and Allah hath appointed Unto everything a measure (65-3). So be grateful to Allah and pray for HIS mercy and peace for the whole Humanity; Ameen. "
  • Tufail Ahmad  - Mosque by Turkey
    My brothers from other religions should not forget that our God is one and same. Moses (Mosa Eleh Islam), Jesus (Esaa Eleh Islam) and Mohammad Sallalah Ho Wa Alleehe Wasalam, are all mesangers of God and their message was to direct humans to live with highiest vlaues of humanity. Muslims have Quran where at several times description of Moses (Moosa Elleh Islam) and Jesus (Essa Elleh Islam) is present describing teri ppoisity and poise teachings and umanity revolution they resulted. Mosa Eleh Islam= Pease be upon Moses Essa Eleh Islam= peace be on Jesus. See we the Muslims are ordered by God to call Moses and Jesus with respect and all Muslims do. God has sent same mesage through its poise people i.e massangers. We have devided ourself and fighting with each other and doing contrary to the mesangers message of God.
  • Bryce Robertson  - Not A Good Thing
    This is unfortunate. You can write the word perfume on a bottle of skunk piss but it's still skunk piss. You can dress this evil religion up as pretty as you want, but EVERYONE knows the reality of this evil, murderous so called religion. Beautiful architecture doesn't mean a thing. It's dripping with the blood of Christians and all non Muslims. Allah? Who is that? Even Abraham and his son Ishmael know that Jehovah is God!
  • Aymen Khan
    Man!! hahahahah ALLAAH or GOD or ILAAHI(as Jesus used to address GOD) is the same name. ALLAAH is an Arabic/Aramic(the true language of Jesus) word for GOD. Muslims worship the GOD of Abraham, call whatever name you want. You worshio the GOD of Abraham too. so we worship the same GOD. No difference.
  • Aymen Khan
    And if its as you say..then why are there Christians STILL in Arab world..Why so many Arab countries have synagogues ?? Arab is a race, my friend. Whether christians, jews or Muslims, they all are Arabs. So you think its a veil but in reality the religion is murderous. OK, why dont you read the book of this religion and see firsthand what it says. Like if you have a sore throat then you wouldnt go or LISTEN/take the medications of a cardiologist. Will you? No. You will go to a throat specialist. Then in matters on religion why do you believe people from OTHER religions say about Islam, Unless YOU YOURSELF WANT to believe that. That makes sense doesnt it?
  • Mustafa  - You're the best
    What is unfortunate indeed is your... ignorance. You're not making sense at all. Read a book or two :)
    Brother Bryce, you can call me skunk or whatever you want but you are misguided. It is not European Muslims who killed six million Jews in and slaughtered over hundred million human beings (mostly Christians) in two World Wars last century. There are good and bad in followers of all religions. May God open your mind. Do not judge Muslims and Islam by bad examples otherwise Christians will also be judged likewise.
  • Hassan  - Allah Akbar
    It has to come from Turkey not from the Middle East , subhana Allah , good continuation . As we support the home of the heart, we like to promote other project. ... May Allah bless you all.
  • ardi Nugroho  - God will help you All.
    God will help you, if you open, read and learn and understanding about Holy Qur'an. Do it, before The Life owner take your spirit. Good Luck. Slam - Greeting
  • mejdi  - who tolerate?
    read your history, when Muslims ruled in Spain, it was the Golden Age for tolerance. Muslims, Christian and Jews lived harmoniously. When Christian ruled in Spain, not one Muslim or Jew allowed to stay. They had either to convert to Christianity, burned alive or leave with nothing. Go visit any Muslim country, you will find all churches and synagogue are still their for thousands of years; how many Mosque are there today in Spain? Zero. When Jews kicked out of Spain, no European Christian country allowed them to seek refuge; who did? only Muslim countries: Turkey, Morocco and Egypt. Read your history woman.
  • Anonymous  - Praise be to God.
    Long Live Turkish Prime Minister. Long Live Islam
  • Sal
    Bryce - my perfume has some skunk piss embedded in it and I love it....what are you trying to say buddy? To each their own perfume :) Honestly though, you sound like Peter King 2.0, but with less media attention. Stop living in fear....Uncle Sam is now pointing "Muslims wants you!" The architecture is beautiful - give credit where credit is due! You're not being honest to yourself. If it was a night club you probably be the first in line with your homies. It's easy to point fingers - Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia, Syria, Pakistan, Palestine, Libya is dripping with Muslim blood because of Christian/Zionist crusades. Who is Allah? Here you go: "Allah! There is no god but He - the Living, The Self-subsisting, Eternal. No slumber can seize Him Nor Sleep. His are all things In the heavens and on earth. Who is there can intercede In His presence except As he permitteth? He knoweth What (appeareth to His creatures As) Before or After or Behind them. Nor shall they compass Aught of his knowledge Except as He willeth. His throne doth extend Over the heavens And on earth, and He feeleth No fatigue in guarding And preserving them, For He is the Most High. The Supreme (in glory)." (Quran 2:255)
  • rom  - cathedral in Turkey?
    I would like to see a big catehdral to be built in Turkey one day and sponsored by Erdogan for the few remaining christians in Turkey! Muslims who enjoy to impose mosques in western countries, even against the express will of the local people, are more than reluctant to give permission for the construction of synagogues and churches in their countries. This is hypocrisy!
  • Caglar Senturk
    He is an undressed dictator in the centre and fundamentalist islamist. He has been supporting to muslim brothers, al Qaida , Hezbollah and others. He diminished all non muslim minorites in Turkey. The last 10 years He damaged Turkish Republlic and Democracy . They do not give any permit to reopen even old churchs . You can not expect him to let any new Church build .
  • mary
    He did. Latest, democracy package announced and a great Christian school has implemented in Mardin/ Turkey. Erdogan has approved this project. Take a look at the latest news.
  • ROM  - cathedral for Istanbul
    Now it is up to the government of Maryland to build a mega-cathedral in Ankara or Istanbul. Is tha a deal?
  • Dealer  - Let's come
    Come, come, whoever you are, Wanderer, worshipper, lover of leaving, Ours is not a caravan of despair. Even if you have broken your vows a thousand times It doesn’t matter Come, come yet again, come. Jelaluddin Rumi
  • Suhayb  - Is it for Islam or it's for the extending national
    Is it for Islam or it's for the extending nationalist turkish agenda? If its for Islam then whats the point of making a turkish cultural center with it. Its not turkey so it should be muslim cultural center . "ncluding activities for the promotion and introduction of the values of the Turkish Civilization" personally i dont care about the values of turkish civilization thats just plain nationalist...if you want to give charity then give it for the name of islam and not for this stupid nationalist agenda which most of turks have.
  • TOP
    The turkish government does not allow christians to build even a little chapel in Turkey. Nor are any renovations of christian buildings allowed. The turkish authorities are harassing christians, jews, and all religions other than islam, wherever they can. The formation of orthodox priests remains prohibited. It is a shame that our governements in America and Europa allow the building of mosques (mostly against the will of the local people) without imposing freedom of religion in muslim countries! This is a shame and muslim hypocrisy when it comes to freedom of religion is disgusting!
  • Alaf Khan  - Islam and Tolerance
    In my advance age and having lived in many Countries it is my life long wish that we all Abrahamic Faiths learn from each other and above all live in peace with great tolerance for all humans and treat animals kindly We are all created by One God and have the same needs and desires. Alas the corrupt and autocratic Rulers of mostly Muslim Countries who remain dysfunctional to show off their vast wealth perhaps a sign of inferiority complex. Magsaysay said that the best amongst you are those who show humility and kindness when he referred in TAGALOG with an example of a Bamboo tree, the higher it grows the lower it stoops.
  • BG  - Horrible construction practices at the Mega-Mosque
    What the pictures don't show is the horrible Balfour Beatty construction practices that are disrupting the lives of the existing residents. No one minded the small Mosque and community center that has existed on the property for 17 years. We do mind the tower cranes that swing over our houses (they did not ask permission), the illegal idling of diesel trucks next to our homes, the illegal parking of construction vehicles, and the noise 6 days per week starting as early as 6am. It was noted by the county before the construction that the soil was unstable. Some of the nearby houses have suffered damage from the resulting vibrations and seismic shockwaves. The construction company and owners won't admit any liability. It is possible they did not get the required insurance for nearby properties or don't want their insurance company to know about the damage.
  • Salim
    I always wanted to see a beautiful Islamic architecture mosque around DC. This is my wish come thru. Overall site plan and Rendering looks great.
  • Tosha  - Beauty to behold
    I live down the street from this new center. It is breathtakingly beautiful. I've been watching it being built and I am anxiously awaiting for it to open. I have had the fortunate opportunity to travel to Turkey. It was a wonderful experience. The people I met were warm, passionate, and truly welcoming... and I'm not Muslim (I'm not Christian either). There are more things that bring us together than separate us. This center holds great promise to enlighten people and provide a place for people to come together. It will defiantly enhance my neighborhood. I am looking forward to a tour of the campus and sitting down to some great conversations over apple tea. Welcome back to the neighbor.
  • amir
    Allahu Akbar. I remember praying in a small place belonging to TACC. Insh Allah we will pray in this awesome Mosque. Thank you to Allah and all people who was part of this great project. Alham Dululy.
  • Al
    We, in Lanham, welcome the beautiful TACC center
  • Fred Edwords  - Fascinating Sight
    I just noticed this mosque today when I happened to drive by from Greenbelt. Didn't even know it was being built and now it looks almost finished. An awesome sight. So I looked up this article to learn more. The mosque will make a great compliment to the Buddhist center further down on Good Luck Road and the Hindu temples not far away in or near New Carrollton. And then there's the gigantic Mormon temple one can see off the D.C. Beltway. Not to mention the National Cathedral in downtown D.C. There are major synagogues here, too. Clearly, we have a lot of religious diversity and interesting religious architecture in the D.C. Metro area! Religion is a fascinating subject and D.C. is becoming a great place to study it--and not merely in the museums and libraries but in the actual places of worship. It's like traveling the world without having to leave home. What a great educational opportunity for all! And I say this without being religious myself and even being inclined to complain at times about how religion can often divide people into warring camps (as a few of the comments to this article have sadly served to demonstrate). I'm hoping, however, that as people of diverse backgrounds begin to actually get to know one another, greater understanding and less suspicion will be the outcome. Remember, we're all Americans here.
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