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Parliamentary questions
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1 December 2016
Question for written answer E-009125-16
to the Commission
Rule 130
Franz Obermayr (ENF)

 Subject:  Turkish religious affairs authority, martyrs and fatwas
 Answer in writing 

Diyanet is Turkey’s religious affairs authority and it is responsible for Sunni religious education, the training of imams and the administration of the country’s 85 000 mosques. Acting as the guardian of religion, it answers directly to the Turkish President.

According to the reports cited below(1), Diyanet has been distributing brochures to children and teenagers presenting martyrdom in a positive light. It has also issued fatwas (Islamic legal opinions) decreeing that, for example, Islam does not allow engaged couples to hold hands. Such glorification is widespread among Turkish Muslim Brotherhood groups, and questions have been raised regarding the activities of Diyanet, which has more than 100 000 staff and an annual budget of around EUR 2 billion. Given that Turkish religious associations in many European countries are directly subordinate to Diyanet, such activities need to be viewed in a critical light.

1. Is the Commission aware of such reports?

2. How does it assess these statements by an influential authority in a country that is a candidate for accession?

3. Does it believe that the principle of the separation of religion and state is undermined if an authority issues an Islamic legal opinion on the behaviour of EU citizens?

(1)http://www.stern.de/politik/ausland/tuerkei--religionshueter-animieren-kinder-per-comic-zum-maertyrertod-6772240.html. http://www.spiegel.de/politik/ausland/tuerkei-fatwa-verbietet-flirten-und-haendchenhalten-a-1070458.html.

Original language of question: DE 
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