General Directorate of Foreign Relations
Services offered by the Directorate abroad that started in 1971 were finally structured as the Directorate General of Foreign Relations under law No. 6002 and dated 01.07.2010 on “The Establishment and Duties of the Directorate of Religious Affairs. “The Directorate General carries out its services activities in the following areas:
Representations Abroad: Consultancy, attaché’s offices and coordinatorship units have been formed in embassies and consulate generals of the Republic of Turkey in Europe, America, Asia and Africa with the purpose of rendering regular, effective and coordinated services for Turks, cognates and coreligionists living abroad.
Staff Employment: Religious officials are sent abroad for a short or long time in line with demands made with the aim of helping Turks, cognates and coreligionists to perform their practical daily prayers, contribute to religious services that continue with local possibilities and develop relations with religious institutions of the country concerned.
Education Abroad: Formal and non-formal education activities are carried out at different levels in many countries from Australia to America acting with a sense of responsibility stemming from common history and civilization for Turks, cognates and coreligionists living in these countries.
Besides, guest students are sent from abroad to our country to receive religious education in Quran courses, imam-hatip (religious) high schools and faculties of theology and secondary and higher education institutions giving religious education are established in places where they are needed.
Social and Cultural Activities: Conferences and meetings are organized on different religious and national days and nights, the Blessed Birth Week in particularly, with the aim of protecting religious and national identities of Turks, cognates and coreligionists living abroad.
Religious Publications Abroad: Compilation and translation of religious publications in coordination with units concerned that will convey fundamental information about Islam to Turks, cognates and coreligionists and enable them to understand the religion correctly.
International Meetings: International meetings such as Religious Services Conference, Eurasia Islamic Council, Balkan Countries Religious Leaders Meeting, African Countries Religious Leaders Summit and Latin American Countries Religious Leaders Meeting.
Sister city Practice: A “Sister City Project” has been developed with the aim of meeting mosques, schools, religious publications and so on requirements of cognates and coreligionists living abroad and cities in our country are linked with different cities abroad. New mosques and madrasas(Muslim theological schools) are built in countries concerned or existing mosques and madrasas are restored within the scope of the project.
Interreligious and Intercultural relations: Work is carried out on relations with institutions of other religions and developments that take place abroad regarding Islam and other religions are followed. A weekly e-bulletin called “Religious, Social and Cultural Developments in the World Through the Internet” is published within this context.
Sacrificing Animals on behalf of Muslims:
The Directorate and Turkish Religious Foundation sacrifice animals on behalf of Muslims for poor and needy cognates and coreligionists who live in different countries.
The General Directorate carries out the activities in question by means of five departments.
1.Department of Turks Living Abroad
2.Department of Eurasian Countries
3.Department of Education and Counseling Abroad
4.Department of Muslim Countries and Communities
5.Department of Interreligious and Intercultural relations