Presidency of Religious Affairs

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Logo of the Presidency of Religious Affairs

In Turkey, the Presidency of Religious Affairs (Turkish: Diyanet İşleri Başkanlığı) which is found in article 136 of the Constitution of Turkey,[1] is an official institution established in 1924 after the abolition of the Ottoman 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”.[2] The Diyanet had an allocated budget of 1,308,187,000 YTL or USD $0.9 Billion for the year 2006.[3]

In 1984, the Diyanet İşleri Türk İslam Birliği was opened in Germany to cater for the religious needs of the large Turkish minority there.

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.[4] In March 2005 two women were appointed as vice-mufti in Kayseri and Istanbul. The Diyanet allows in vitro fertilisation and birth control pills.[5]

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.[6]

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”[7]

List of Presidents[edit]

The following people have presided the institution:[8]

Name Tenure
Began End
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

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Hata Sayfasi. "The Constitution of the Republic of Turkey" (PDF). Retrieved 2013-09-28. 
  2. ^ Basic Principles, Aims And Objectives, Presidency of Religious Affairs
  3. ^ "2006 Mali Yilin Bütçesi" (in Turkish). Alo Maliye. Retrieved 2008-08-22. 
  4. ^ Jones, Dorian (2005). "Female Preachers in Turkey: Challenging Traditional Gender Roles". Deutsche Welle. Qantara. Retrieved 2008-08-22. 
  5. ^ "Pope bans, Turkey allows". Retrieved 2013-09-28. 
  6. ^ "Pope's speech at Turkey's Diyanet". 2006-11-29. Retrieved 2013-09-28. 
  7. ^ "Gül first Turkish president to visit Diyanet in 33 years". World Bulletin. Retrieved 2013-09-28. 
  8. ^ Former presidents, Presidency of Religious Affairs (Turkish)

External links[edit]