Deputy head of Turkish Religious Affairs Directorate discharged from duty

Mehmet Emin Özafşar

The deputy head of Turkish Religious Affairs Directorate (Diyanet), which is led by controversial top imam Mehmet Görmez, was discharged from his duty on Saturday. Mehmet Emin Özafşar, deputy head of Diyanet was also lecturer at Faculty of Theology under Ankara University.

Discharging decision of Özafşar was issued in the Official Gazette on Saturday as no reason about discharging decision was stated.

Mehmet Görmez, the controversial head of Turkish Religious Affairs had met with Iraqi cleric who has been named as a supporter of al-Qaeda and Taleban in a list of UN Security Council in Ankara on May 5. According to official website of Iraqi Muslim Scholars Council, the Council’s Secretary General Muthanna Harith al-Dari, who is on the sanction list of UN Security Council since 2010, was received by Turkish top imam Görmez in Ankara.

Diyanet has come to agenda with its imams espionage scandals in numbers of European countries including Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Austria. German police had raided the apartments of four imams suspected of spying for Turkey’s government on alleged members of the Gülen movement. Görmez, denied its imams had involved in illegal activities and said espionage investigations had defamed the organization.

May 20, 2017

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