TurkeyFebruary 9 2023, 10:56 am

Diyanet Opens “Fatwa Units” Abroad

Turk­ish media is report­ing that the Turk­ish state’s Direc­torate of Reli­gious Affairs (Diyanet) is open­ing “fat­wa units” abroad to serve Turk­ish cit­i­zens. Accord­ing to the NTV report:

Decem­ber 23, 2022: The Pres­i­den­cy of Reli­gious Affairs has estab­lished fat­wa units to answer the reli­gious ques­tions of Turk­ish cit­i­zens and Mus­lims liv­ing abroad. The units, estab­lished with the sup­port of the Pres­i­den­cy, are staffed by Turk­ish offi­cials who came from abroad and com­plet­ed their train­ing in Turkey. Fatih Mehmet Aydın, Deputy Chair­man of the Supreme Board of Reli­gious Affairs, said that ques­tions are direct­ed to the Board via the Alo 190 Fat­wa Hot­line through­out the coun­try and that the ques­tions are answered by experts. [Trans­lat­ed by DeepL]

Read the rest here.

The report fur­ther men­tions that the fat­wa units’ employ­ees are Turk­ish cit­i­zens liv­ing abroad who com­plete a 30-month train­ing by the Diyanet. So far, the fat­wa units have been acti­vat­ed in Ger­many and the Nether­lands, but Aydın also says that Diyanet wants to estab­lish them in more coun­tries where Turk­ish cit­i­zens live.

The Direc­torate of Reli­gious Affairs (Turk­ish: Diyanet İşl­eri Başkan­lığı or Diyanet) is a Turk­ish state insti­tu­tion respon­si­ble for man­ag­ing reli­gious affairsThe Diyanet was found­ed in 1924 to monop­o­lize con­trol of Sun­ni Islam in Turkey under the state. The Diyanet drafts a week­ly ser­mon deliv­ered at all of Turkey’s mosques, and their imams are civ­il ser­vants employed by the state. Start­ing in the 1980s, the Diyanet began to man­age mosques abroad and send imams there to pro­mote Turk­ish Islam. After the Jus­tice and Devel­op­ment Par­ty (AKP) came to pow­er in 2002, it quadru­pled the Diyanet’s bud­get and installed lead­ers who sup­port­ed its posi­tions, where­as it pre­vi­ous­ly had been sec­u­lar and inde­pen­dent of state inter­fer­ence. Through orga­ni­za­tions such as DITIB, the Diyanet pro­vides imams and pays imams for Turk­ish mosques abroad, and Diyanet imams have gath­ered intel­li­gence on Turkey’s oppo­nents abroad and report­ed back to the government.

Ear­li­er this month we report­ed that Diyanet is open­ing “fat­wa units” abroad to serve Turk­ish citizens.




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