Turkey’s new top cleric enters office, vows to continue struggle against FETÖ
ANKARAThe Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet) will step up its efforts in the fight against the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ) of U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen, new Diyanet head Ali Erbaş said on Sept. 18.
“We have to work more than ever to repair the damage that FETÖ caused on a spiritual and practical level with its mysterious and vague religious outlook, exploiting young minds and abusing the benevolence of our people,” Erbaş said in a speech at the handover ceremony on Sept. 18.
“We have to work more than ever to deliver the eternal call of Allah and the Prophet to humanity, which is embroiled in secularism and nihilism,” he said.
He also added that the Diyanet would focus on increasing coordination between imam-hatip religious vocational schools and Faculties of Theology in universities.
Former Diyanet head Mehmet Görmez retired from his post on July 31 after he and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had a meeting on July 21, which was interpreted as a sign of him leaving his post imminently.
Officially entering into the office with the ceremony on Sept. 18, Erbaş stressed the importance of “spiritual struggle” and vowed that the new order in the Diyanet “will be marked by work.”
“The missions of all the units within our directorate, especially the High Council of Religious Affairs, will be revised within this perspective. We will mobilize all our efforts to reflect the message of Islam in all our service,” he said.
“[The Diyanet] will continue to reach out the hand of God to all suffering nations in the world, primarily the Rohingya, to which global powers have brought chaos,” Erbaş added.