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Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet)

Turkey
  • Aliases -
  • Location - Turkey
  • Category - Organisation
  • Website - Visit
  • 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 has 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 spied on Turkey’s oppo­nents abroad and report­ed back to the government.