Presidency of Religious Affairs
In Turkey, the Presidency of Religious Affairs (Turkish: Diyanet İşleri Başkanlığı) which is found in article 136 of the constitution, is an official institution established in 1924 after the abolition of the caliphate. Founded by the Grand National Assembly of Turkey as a successor to Sheikh ul-Islam, it is normally referred to simply as the Diyanet.
As specified by law, the duties of the Diyanet are “to execute the works concerning the beliefs, worship, and ethics of Islam, enlighten the public about their religion, and administer the sacred worshiping places”. The Diyanet had an allocated budget of 1,308,187,000 YTL or USD $0.9 Billion for the year 2006.
The Diyanet has made a name for itself by using the Quran and Hadith. A recent example is the permission of training women as preachers. In March 2005 two women were appointed as vice-mufti in Kayseri and Istanbul. The Diyanet allows in vitro fertilization and birth control pills.
In 2006, Pope Benedict XVI travelled by car to the Diyanet, where he met with its then president, Ali Bardakoğlu, and with various Turkish Muslim leaders, among them the Grand Mufti of Ankara and the Grand Mufti of Istanbul.
In 2012, President Abdullah Gül visited the institution and said “It is undoubtedly one of the most important duties of the Religious Affairs Directorate to teach our religion to our people in the most correct, clear and concise way and steer them away from superstition”
List of Presidents
The following people have presided the institution:
- Mehmet Rifat Börekçi (1924–1941)
- Ord. Prof. Şerafettin Yaltkaya (1941–1947)
- Ahmet Hamdi Akseki (1947–1951)
- Eyüp Sabri Hayırlıoğlu (1951–1960)
- Ömer Nasuhi Bilmen (1960–1961)
- Hasan Hüsnü Erdem (1961–1964)
- Mehmet Tevfik Gerçeker (1964–1965)
- İbrahim Bedrettin Elmalılı (1965–1966)
- Ali Rıza Hakses (1966–1968)
- Lütfi Doğan (1968–1972)
- Dr. Lütfi Doğan (1972–1976)
- Prof. Dr. Süleyman Ateş (1976–1978)
- Dr. Tayyar Altıkulaç (1978–1986)
- Prof. Dr. Mustafa Sait Yazıcıoğlu (1986–1992)
- Mehmet Nuri Yılmaz (1992–2003)
- Ali Bardakoğlu (2003–2010)
- Mehmet Görmez (2010–Present)
- Hata Sayfasi. "The Constitution of the Republic of Turkey". Anayasa.gov.tr. Retrieved 2013-09-28.
- Basic Principles, Aims And Objectives, Presidency of Religious Affairs
- "2006 Mali Yilin Bütçesi" (in Turkish). Alo Maliye. Retrieved 2008-08-22.
- Jones, Dorian (2005). "Female Preachers in Turkey: Challenging Traditional Gender Roles". Deutsche Welle. Qantara. Retrieved 2008-08-22.
- "Pope bans, Turkey allows". en.timeturk.com. Retrieved 2013-09-28.
- "Pope's speech at Turkey's Diyanet". Speroforum.com. 2006-11-29. Retrieved 2013-09-28.
- "Gül first Turkish president to visit Diyanet in 33 years". World Bulletin. Retrieved 2013-09-28.
- Former presidents, Presidency of Religious Affairs (Turkish)
- Official website
- "Women issuing fatwas", Qantara.de
- "The Diyanet of Turkey and Its Activities in Eurasia After the Cold War"
- Smith, Thomas W. "Between Allah and Atatürk: Liberal Islam in Turkey" PDF
- Matsuzato, Kimitaka; Sawae, Fumiko. Rebuilding a Confessional State: Islamic Ecclesiology Turkey, Russia and China, Religion, State & Society, Vol. 38, No. 4, December 2010. *
- İştar Gözaydın,"Religion as Soft Power in the International Relations of Turkey". www.ispionline.it