Turkish state agency to increase Islamic missionary activities

Turkey’s Religious Affairs Directorate (Diyanet) plans a nationwide public outreach program, spanning 12 months, which will include visits to schools, coffeehouses and apartment blocks to have conversations on everything from “family structure” to “media literacy”, Cumhuriyet newspaper said.

The Diyanet will work with a whole raft of organizations including the National Education Ministry (MEB), Family and Social Policy Ministry, Credit and Dormitories Institution (KYK), municipalities, police stations, neighbourhood administrators and apartment superintendents, the newspaper said.

While the Diyanet was founded to “enlighten” the public about religion and to “carry out works regarding worship, moral principles and managing mosques”, it has turned its focus on basic education during the 15-year reign of the Justice and Development Party (AKP).

The Diyanet will deal with issues such as the family, media literacy, single parents, social media morals, business life and women, technology and children, and modern loneliness as part of the new program, the newspaper said. Topics such as “headscarf manners”, “divorce manners” and “marriage at early age” are also within its remit.

The biggest part of the program is entitled “national values”, in which it will discuss a range of matters including giving to charity and religious martyrdom, the newspaper said.