Hawzah News Agency (Ankara, Turkey) –According to the Turkish government’s draft bill for 2019, Diyanet will enjoy a budget of 10.45 billion lira ($1,9 billion) next year, with a 34 percent increase compared to 2018.
For 2019, Diyanet targets to diversify its services and also to expand its outreach to tourists visiting Turkey.
Diyanet and Turkey’s Tourist Guides Association will cooperate in providing trainings to the guides, in order to ensure that they convey the right knowledge on Islam to tourists, Cumhuriyet said.
Leaflets on Islam, the Qur’an and the prophet Muhammed will be prepared in foreign languages to be distributed in mosques popular among tourists.
Diyanet also aims to organise a series of events this year, including workshops on stock exchange and islamic insurance.
Diyanet’s plans include Qur’an courses for refugees and 3D animated materials to teach children praying and moral knowledge.
The directorate will prepare and distribute to Turkish students materials of atheism, deism, and agnosticism, subjects which have been widely debated in Turkey this year.
The religious body’s head Ali Erbaş said this week that deism was a trap laid out by those hoping to alienate Muslims from their religion.
A study by Dr. Fatma Günaydın, a professor of theology at Düzce University, found this year that Turkish youth were increasingly moving towards deism. The study said 12 percent in religious schools and 30 percent in overall high schools had “religious doubts.”
Diyanet, which is reportedly a soft power tool for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, in domestic and foreign policies, will also target Turkey’s dominantly Kurdish southeastern and eastern provinces.
Diyanet will organise summer schools in western parts of the country for children 12-16 living in southeast and east Turkey, which Diyanet says are regions affected from terrorism.