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In the debate about Turkish accession to the European Union, the training of imams is one of the most sensitive issues as it highlights the role of the state in religious affairs. My thesis project is a study of religion-state relations in Turkey that explores the role of a state institution named Diyanet İşleri Baskanlığı (Directorate of Religious Affairs, hereafter Diyanet). The focus of my research is to explore how the Diyanet has the potential to shape the religious landscape through the authority which it gives to its civil servants in Turkey and in a transnational context. As I am only at the beginning of my research, the content of my presentation will be more an empirical one.
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UC Berkeley on May 6-7, 2011 Link to Book