@nurcangokdemir / email@example.comAs a state institution serving as the most instrumental tool for the ruling party AKP in achieving its dreamed regime, Turkey’s Presidency of Religion Affairs (Diyanet İşleri Başkanlığı) will have even greater financial capacity within the next five years while its newly envisioned purpose is defined as 'becoming a source of inspiration for religious organizations both in the west and in the Islamic world.'
40 billion liras planned budget for years 2017-2021
Releasing its strategic plan for the years of 2017-2021, the Presidency of Religion Affairs reworded its vision as ‘becoming an institution trusted and taken as a reference in regards to Islam at a universal level.’
In its report, where the expenses planned to be spent within this period have been determined as 40 billion liras, the Presidency of Religion Affairs also shared an outline of weaknesses, obstacles, and threats, as well as, opportunities, that the institution will face throughout this time…
Uncontrolled spread of mosques and Koran courses considered as threats
While a ‘national and international perceived connection between religion and terror’ and the increase in the number of political groups with references to religion are considered as some of the primary threats faced by the institution, one of the other obstacles in its way was defined as the excessive number of İmam-Hatip (vocational schools in Turkey with an Islamic curriculum) graduates who do not have good qualifications to serve for the purpose of the institution…
Political influence over the institution, Islamophobia, and growing negative perceptions about Islam, as well as, spread of certain institutions and foundations that build mosques and organize Koran courses in an uncontrolled manner, were also stated as parts of the threats…
New vision is 'to be an inspiration both for the west and the Islamic world'
Introductory statement of the Head of the Presidency of Religion Affairs Mehmet Görmez included a message where the institution is envisioned as an ‘inspiration for religious organizations both in the west and in the Islamic world.’
In line with this stated vision and goals, current opportunities for the institution were listed as ‘people having a natural disposition for religious sentiments; the population of Turkey being 99% Muslim; an increase in the demand of the people for religion to serve as a means to solve societal problems; willingness of the members of the Turkish nations to volunteer in religious activities and services; emergence of new perspectives, theories, methods, and technologies in educational fields and lifting of legal boundaries in Turkey blocking the way for religion education; enhanced reputation of the institution; and, the grown expectations of Islamic countries and Muslim societies from the institution.'