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J. Niemiec - Directorate of Religious Affairs as a Turkish foreign policy tool in Europe

J. Niemiec - Directorate of Religious Affairs as a Turkish foreign policy tool in Europe

Contrary to popular belief, the Republic of Turkey has never adopted the European model of secularism. An analysis of Turkish legislation shows that laicism in Turkey is conceived as strict state control over religion. The government maintains absolute supervision over the religiosity of citizens thanks to the Directorate for Religious Affairs (Diyanet), established in 1924. In the early 1970s, the institution began its international operations, offering religious support to Turkish diaspora in Western Europe. Since the Justice and Development Party took power in Turkey, Diyanet has become one of the main tools of Turkish public diplomacy which promotes the political vision of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan around the world.

Jan Niemiec

KBN Analysis no. 8 (60) / 2020

23 April 2020

Contrary to popular belief, the Republic of Turkey has never adopted the European model of secularism. An analysis of Turkish legislation shows that laicism in Turkey is conceived as strict state control over religion. The government maintains absolute supervision over the religiosity of citizens thanks to the Directorate for Religious Affairs (Diyanet), established in 1924. In the early 1970s, the institution began its international operations, offering religious support to Turkish diaspora in Western Europe. Since the Justice and Development Party took power in Turkey, Diyanet has become one of the main tools of Turkish public diplomacy which promotes the political vision of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan around the world.

In the photo: Diyanet’s President Ali Erbaş meeting the President of Turkey  Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Photo credit: https://twitter.com/diyanetbasin

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J. Niemiec - Dyrektoriat ds. Religijnych jako instrument tureckiej polityki zagranicznej w Europie