Ankara Project

The IRP Ankara Project, with the title ‘Managing Religious Diversity in a Changing World’, was conducted by the VU University Amsterdam and the University of Utrecht. The project started in October 2009 and was completed in December 2010. The project aimed to analyse the role of the Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet) today, both in the Netherlands and in Turkey. The research started from the assumption that the relation between religion and state in both Turkey and Western Europe is complex and dynamic. Taking a closer look at Diyanet therefore provided a good starting point, because it is an institution of a secular state that – paradoxically – is a major actor in Turkish religious life, illustrating this very complexity in the relation between religion and state. The central question in this project was how the recent changes in the religious and political balances of power (the coming into power of AKP, the Justice and Development Party) influence the position and political-religious decisions of Diyanet, and the relationships with the other players in the ‘religious field’.

Research report:
Sunier, Thijl, Nico Landman, Heleen van der Linden, Nazli Bilgili, Alper Bilgili (2011) Diyanet. The Turkish Directorate for Religious Affairs in a Changing Environment

The research report can be downloaded at:

Last Modified: 04-11-2013