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  • June 2017: Prof. Dr. Ali Erbaş is appointed as the new President of Diyanet

On June 31 2017, Prof. Dr. Mehmet Görmez, a Turkish cleric who headed the Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet), a government department that runs more than 85,000 mosques, bid farewell to his post he had occupied since 2010. After Görmez, Prof. Dr. Ali Erbaş was appointed as the new head of the Diyanet. Prof. Erbaş has been serving as rector of Yalova University.

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  • March 2017: President of Diyanet Görmez spoke at 9th Ambassador’s Conference for the second time

The implementation by Turkey of laiklik (read as "secularism") had one big output: the setting up of the presidency of Religious Affairs (the Diyanet). The Diyanet is an administrative unit required by law to maintain the secular structure of the State, and is, nevertheless, principally charged with the management of religion, particularly the regulation of Islamic (which means here Sunni Muslim) faith and practice, religious education, and the construction and maintenance of places of prayer. Furthermore, Turkey’s Diyanet has been playing a multidimensional and active role in other countries for more than 30 years. This year, for the second time, President of the Diyanet Prof. Dr. Mehmet Görmez addressed the ambassadors at the 9th Conference of Ambassadors. Despite the fact that his presentation was dealing with recent developments in the Muslim World and the Western World, Görmez mentionned two critical issues. The first one was regarding to the struggles of strategy with the so-called Islamic State and other (alledgedly) faith-based terrorist organisations. The other one is directly related to Turkey’s domestic policy problem: the conflict between the AKP and the Gülen Movement.

It should be noted that while Prof. Görmez was addressing the terrorist organisations, he claimed that "the term ’jihad’, which actually means working and showing effort in the name of Allah, and includes all kinds of efforts of the true believers of Islam, was made into a “modern war doctrine.” Such affirmations causes the loss of opportunities to promote, introduce and explain Islam as a religion of love, peace, compassion, and justice. Muslims and Islam become a source of fear in other places, especially in the Western world, due to the fanatical violent cycle of such movements."

Source: speech of Prof. Mehmet Görmez.

D 7 November 2017    AAhmet Erdi Öztürk

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