There were about 15 of them there at the beginning. Turkish American engineers who in the early 1990s worked at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt and at the University of Maryland in College Park .

They lived in communities scattered throughout Prince George's County, and as Turks and Muslims, they wanted a place nearby where they could meet and worship.

So in 1993, they joined together and purchased a 10.7 acre wooded area in Lanham from the Salvation Army for $302,000. Later they would purchase another six acres, spending nearly $1 million for the land.

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