The Turkish religious authority Diyanet has organized a scouting camp in the Corbeil Essonnes suburb of the French capital Paris. According to the leftist Turkish newspaper “Sol”:
October 10, 2022: Continuing his trip to France, President of Religious Affairs Ali Erbaş opened the scouting camp for religious officials and International Theology Program students in Corbeil-Essonnes, organized jointly by the Turkish Islamic Union for Religious Affairs in Paris (DITIB) and the Turkish Scouting Federation. Speaking at the opening, Erbaş said, “According to the rules of scouting, our teachers, friends, brothers and sisters take care of our young people in the most beautiful way in terms of leadership and guidance. They learn the necessary infrastructure. There is a way to preserve the moral attitude and lineage of our youth, and we must show them these ways. Because there are many temptations that want to tear the youth away from us. This is one of those ways to keep the youth away from that seduction.” (Translated using deepl.com and edited for clarity)
Read the rest here.
France has closed the Diyanet’s bank accounts, and French President Macron announced he was ending a program that allowed other countries to send cultural and language teachers, including imams, to teach in France without interference from French authorities.
The Directorate of Religious Affairs (Turkish: Diyanet İşleri Başkanlığı or Diyanet) is a Turkish state institution responsible for managing religious affairs. The 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.