Grand Opening of Muslim Center in Prince George's County Sparks Security Concerns

Turkish president to attend Saturday's opening

Following recent acts of terrorism worldwide the opening of America's largest Muslim center in Maryland Saturday concerns some of its neighbors.

The $110 million Diyanet Center built by the Turkish government off Good Luck Road in Lanham goes three stories underground and includes an indoor pool, basketball court, fitness center, mosque and fellowship hall. It will also get a four-star restaurant and Turkish bath.

Though it has been operating since April 2015, Saturday is its official opening.

"I’m afraid they will be victimized, and in today’s society, that is highly likely and that’s a shame," neighbor Kathleen Davis said.

Saturday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will join international dignitaries as well as state and local officials for the grand opening. All attendees must have security clearance.

"Prince George’s County Police have been working for us for the last few months," said Ahmet Aydilek of the Diyanet Center.

Turkey’s secret service is also there. Police will assist with security and traffic, but the hope is all will go well.

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