7 Steps were taken by President Erdogan to promote Islam in Turkey

The state of Turkey (before the fall of Ottoman Empire) once used to enjoy Islamic laws until Kemal Ataturk took over and changed things drastically. He not only moved the state towards secularism but also abolished many Islamic laws.

He forced the closure of Islamic schools, citizens were prohibited from wearing Islamic clothing, Adhan was to be given in Turkish language and introduced set of anti-Islamic laws.  Till the time, Turkey had experienced secularism. The state had practiced the laws that were imposed by its founder, Ataturk.

However, things changed after Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, took over. Erdogan, the President of Turkey has revised some laws which are in favor of the promotion of Islam. Analyzing Turkey, we see that 7 major steps have been taken by Erdogan for sake of Islam. Here is a list of those 7 vital steps:

1-Construction of 17,000 mosques: According to a report proposed by The Atlantic, in a time span of 11 years, the Turkish government has been able to construct about 17,000 new mosques. More mosques are being constructed while those which date back to Ottoman era are being renovated. 

2-Ban on Hijab has been uplifted: Previously, the women in Turkey were not allowed to wear Hijab while serving the public sector. Teachers, lawyers and others working in public sector were prohibited from wearing hijab while working.

However, it was in 2015 when the Justice and Development Party took an initiative to lift this ban. Now teachers and women in public sector can enjoy hijab while providing their services.

3-Imam-Hatip Schools received 1 million students: Imam-Hatip schools evolved after the Madrasahs were banned by Ataturk. These schools provide religious education and train people for becoming an Imam.

The Mosques in Turkey are under government jurisdiction and they appoint most of the Imams who got their training from Imam-Hatip schools. The Islamic promotion in Turkey has not only expanding the Imam Hatip schools but also expanding the enrolled students.

It is officially declared that the number of students has hit 1 million as compared to 658,000 in 2013.

4-Introduction of Mandatory Religious Education: In Turkish schools, the religious education has been made compulsory. Every school is bound to introduce Islamic course in their syllabus.

According to sources, the course on “the life of Prophet Muhammad” and “the Qur’an” as a compulsory part of the syllabus has been introduced.

5-No age limit on attending Quran courses: In past, there was an age limit on attending Quran courses in Turkey: Children less than 12 years of age were prohibited from attending such courses. However, the current government has abolished the law and has even initiated a pre-school Quran course since 2013.

6-Alcohol Sale and Advertisement to face restrictions: The state of Turkey allowed the sale and advertisement of Alcohol. Yet the new government has restricted the sale and advertisement of the product. Now, no alcohol can be advertised within 100 meters of mosque or school premises.

Student dormitories, health institutions, sports clubs, education institutions and gas stations cannot sell alcohol. Alcohol can only be sold before 10 pm in other un-prohibited areas. In movies or TV, if alcohol is to be filmed, it must be made blurred.

 

7-Expansion of Islamic banking: The state of Turkey is widely approaching the Islamic banking system. The Ziraat Islamic bank, which is a state-owned bank, is expanding rapidly. It is reported that by 2018, it will have as many as 170 branches across Turkey.

The President of Turkey has been heard encouraging the Islamic banking system and criticizing the interest-based banking system.

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Steve has been living in Saudi Arabia since 2013 and writing about Saudi rules, regulations, guides, and procedures since then.