Turkey to open over 8,000 new positions for top religious body

According to a new presidential decree published in Turkey’s Official Gazette on Friday, the personnel of the Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet) will be increased by 8,489 new positions, Deutsche Welle Turkish reported.

Turkey’s top religious body, according to political analysts, has become a crucial component of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s domestic and foreign policies. 

The increase in Diyanet’s budget allocation proposed by the government in the new 2019 draft budget bill has also been discussed in Turkey over the past weeks.

The religious body’s budget set as 7.7 billion lira ($1.4 billion) is higher than the budgets allocated to Turkey’s Interior Ministry, Foreign Ministry, and National Intelligence Agency, DW said. 

The religious body will almost double in the next three years and will reach 13 billion lira ($2.4 billion) in 2021, according to the draft bill.