This beast that grows beside us

The Turkish Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet) is one of the country's most powerful public institutions. In 2002, when President Recep Tayyip Erodgan's Justice and Development Party (AKP) rose to power, it employed a staff of 72,000 people. Today it has 130,000 employees. Likewise, the funding it received from the state budget was 450 million euros in 2002 and €1.5 billion last year, which is more than the Ministry of Interior gets. It is expected to spend €10 billion in 2020-23 (source: Ahval, 29/12/2019).

The Diyanet also runs the country's Quran Sunday schools, or Kuran kursu. There were 3,699 such schools dedicated to the study of the Quran in 2002. Today there are 18,675 and the cost is €1.45 million a year (source: Ipekyol, 01/06/2020). A similar trend is seen in public education.

Apart from these schools, Turkey also has Imam hatips, religious schools...

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