An investigation on the Turkish Religious Foundation of the UK (Diyanet)
CitationÇoştu, Y., Ceyhan Çoştu, F. (2015). An investigation on the Turkish Religious Foundation of the UK (Diyanet). İ. Sirkeci, B. D. Şeker, A. Çağlar (Ed). Turkish Migration, Identity and Integration (s. 149-157) içinde. London: Transnational Press London.
The Presidency of Religious Affairs (DIB) is an official organization providing public services on religious issues in Turkey. As a constitutional institution, DIB tries to meet society's needs and requirements through internal and external establishments. The external establishment DIB, is organized in countries where Turkish citizens reside, functioning as the Counsellors of Religious Services connected to the Turkish Embassies. DIB has overseas organizations under the name of ‘‘Office of the Counsellor for Religious Services’’ affiliated to the Turkish Embassies in those same European countries. Also, there are semi-official religious foundations in relation to these Offices under the name of “Turkish Religious Foundations”. In the early 1980s, DIB started the practice of sending religious officials whose salaries are paid by the Government of the Republic of Turkey, to its external organizations carrying out religious activities within the mosques and masjids. Within this framework, The Religious Services Office of the Embassy of the Republic of Turkey in London was founded in 1998. In 2001, “Turkish Religious Foundation of the United Kingdom (ITDV)” affiliated with this Office was established in North London. ITDV started organizing various activities, such as religious, social, cultural and educational, through mosques for both Turkish and other Muslim immigrants living in Britain via Imams or religious officials from Turkey and locally-educated staff. In this paper, we will try to analyse its activities with a macro-descriptive method. It is thought this ITDV has tried to solve Turkish immigrants’ problems that come out during the integration process, to keep their integrity, and to ensure the continuity of their community. According to research, ITDV has been considered by Turkish Muslim immigrants as the most reliable foundation among the other Turkish religious organizations in Britain.