NEW HAVEN — Faruk Gulseren has been working for over a year to help build a mosque in New Haven. When tragedy recently struck the local Turkish community, he found another reason to keep up his efforts.
Gulseren, who’s 33 and Turkish native, is the secretary of the Turkish American Religious Foundation, a group that formed one year ago. The 300-member organization is in the process of converting a crumbling apartment building on Weybosset Street in Quinnipiac Meadows into a new mosque for the area’s growing Turkish community.
Tragedy touched that community when a West Haven man, Selami Ozdemir, killed himself and his wife Shengyl Rasim in an apparent murder-suicide on Jan. 17. Ozdemir, who ran Whalley Avenue’s Pizza Empire, was one of many area Turkish pizzeria owners.
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