First woman deputy on Turkey’s religious authority

Turkey’s official state institution for religion, the Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet), will have a woman deputy for the first time in the country’s history, Turkish newspaper Haberturk reports.

Prof. Huriye Martı, a theology professor with expertise on the field of fundamental Islamic studies at the Necmettin Erbakan University, was appointed after consultations between Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, cabinet ministers and the current President of Diyanet, Ali Erbaş, the paper says.

According to her short biography, published at Haberturk, Prof. Martı wrote a master’s thesis on fictitious religious stories on women and a PhD dissertation on the 16th century Ottoman moralist Imam Birgivi who stood against corruption and degeneration in Islam. She later took some administrative duties and chaired the department of family and religious guidance at Diyanet.

"Every provincial Diyanet office will have a women deputy and we will increase the number of women preachers," the spokesperson for the cabinet, Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ was quoted by the state-run Anadolu Agency as saying during the announcement.