Washington: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will inaugurate the United States’ largest mosque on Saturday, Anadolu Agency reported.
The Diyanet Center of America in Maryland, just 21 kilometers from Washington DC, features classical Ottoman architecture.
The land was bought in 1990 by the Turkish Presidency of Religious Affairs and had only a 100-square-meter small Turkish mosque and a community building on it.
"After a declaration of intention in 2009, we started the process for the kulliyah project (traditional Islamic social complex) which would reflect the thought of the Islamic world ", project architect Muharrem Hilmi Senalp told Anadolu Agency.
A classic city structure of the Ottoman Empire featured a mosque at the center with the city built around it. Senalp says the project was based on that type of a structural plan and the architecture of the mosque reflected the traditional Ottoman Empire style of the16th and 17th centuries.
"There is a mosque at the center and a Turkish-Islamic garden in front of it. Right next to it, there is the cultural center, which is a harmony of classical and modern architecture".
The cultural center includes a library, conference and exhibition halls, an assembly hall and a reception area.
The Islamic Research Center within the building will provide a consultancy service for undergraduate and graduate students coming from Turkey to the U.S.
There is also a 300-square-meter Islamic Arts Museum below the mosque and ten traditional Ottoman houses within the complex, where guests can lodge.
The entire complex is built on a 60,000-square-meter area and includes traditional Turkish baths for men and women, swimming pools, a multipurpose hall and an indoor sports complex.
With its two minarets, the mosque is built on 879 square meters, and along with its courtyard is large enough for approximately 3,000 Muslims to pray at the same time.