Diyanet as a Turkish foreign policy tool: evidence from the Netherlands and Bulgaria

Öztürk, Ahmet Erdi and Sozeri, Semiha (2018) Diyanet as a Turkish foreign policy tool: evidence from the Netherlands and Bulgaria. Politics and Religion, 11 (3). pp. 624-648. ISSN 1755-0483

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Abstract / Description

How does Turkey's Presidency of Religious Affairs (Diyanet) act as an instrument of foreign policy? What are the factors that allow such an instrumentalization of Islam in Turkish foreign policy? In addressing these questions, this article uses semi-structured expert interviews from Bulgaria and the Netherlands. Although both countries host a sizeable Muslim minority, these populations differ in their characteristics and historical ties with Turkey. Comparing Diyanet's role in the Netherlands with its recent Turkish Muslim diaspora, and in Bulgaria with its centuries-old Muslim minority allows us to reveal variation in the practical engagement strategies that Diyanet adopts in different country contexts. Thus, the article advances two main claims; first, Diyanet serves as a primary foreign policy tool of Turkey in countries with a significant Turkish-Muslim minority. Secondly, this instrumentalization destabilizes secularization projects both at home and abroad.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Diyanet, foreign policy, state apparatus, Netherlands, Bulgaria, AKP, Turkey, religion
Subjects: 200 Religion
300 Social sciences > 320 Political science
Department: School of Social Sciences (to June 2021)
School of Social Sciences and Professions
Depositing User: Ahmet Ozturk
Date Deposited: 06 Jan 2020 10:35
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2020 10:35


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