Turkey grants “ministerial” powers to the head of top religious body
Turkey has made radical changes on the regulation establishing the duties of the Directorate of Religious Affairs, the state institution responsible for regulating the role of Islam.
According to the new regulation published on the Official Gazette on Thursday, the head of the directorate has been granted “ministerial” powers over the conduct of the organization’s work.
While the previous regulation was appointing the relevant minister as the executor of the provisions, the new script grants the mandate to the head of the directorate himself.
With the amendment made in the regulation, the scope of duty of the religious body (also known as Diyanet) has also been expanded.
Accordingly, the directorate will be able to organize religious programs and meetings outside of mosques and masjids, and sermon and guidance teams would be sent to places deemed appropriate by the Diyanet.
In the new regulation, a duty area was added to the Diyanet as "To carry out the necessary work for the youth to grow up as individuals who are at peace with religious and national values, loyal to their homeland and useful for their nation”.
For this purpose, the directorate will be able to open youth centers where it deems necessary and provide spiritual counseling services in these centers.