TurkeySeptember 6 2022, 18:07 pm

Turkish Religious Authority Recalls German Representative

Ger­man media is report­ing that the supreme Turk­ish reli­gious author­i­ty has with­drawn its high­est rep­re­sen­ta­tive from Ger­many. Accord­ing to a report in Die Welt:

The Turk­ish reli­gious author­i­ty Diyanet has removed the chair­man of the mosque asso­ci­a­tion DITIB, Kaz­im Türk­men, from his posi­tion as reli­gious author­i­ty in Ger­many. After a WELT inquiry, DITIB pub­lished a press release on the event. Accord­ing to the state­ment, Türk­men’s four-year term of office had end­ed. He already returned to his main task in Turkey on August 13, 2022. Accord­ing to Ditib this was “usu­al prac­tice.” Türk­men will con­tin­ue in his hon­orary post as Ditib fed­er­al chair­man until a gen­er­al assem­bly is held in the near future and a new board is elect­ed. It is not yet clear who will suc­ceed him. (Trans­lat­ed from Ger­man with Google)

Read the rest here.

Türk­men had been elect­ed DITIB chair­man in Jan­u­ary 2019 and had since been work­ing to improve the orga­ni­za­tion’s image by sug­gest­ing inde­pen­dence from Turk­ish pol­i­tics. On the oth­er hand, mem­bers of the Turk­ish rul­ing par­ty AKP had recent­ly been call­ing for DITIB to take a stronger polit­i­cal stance.

DITIB is The Turk­ish-Islam­ic Union for Reli­gious Affairs. The mosque umbrel­la orga­ni­za­tion oper­ates in sev­er­al Euro­pean coun­tries and has a role in edu­ca­tion about Islam in Ger­many, as evi­denced by the coop­er­a­tion between DITIB and state schools. DITIB rep­re­sen­ta­tives hold seats on the advi­so­ry boards of Islam­ic the­ol­o­gy pro­grams at Ger­man universities.

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. 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. In con­trast, it pre­vi­ous­ly had been sec­u­lar and inde­pen­dent of state inter­fer­ence. Through orga­ni­za­tions such as DITIB, the Diyanet pro­vides and pays imams for Turk­ish mosques abroad. Diyanet imams have spied on Turkey’s oppo­nents abroad and report­ed back to the government.


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