Turkey allocates more budget to top religious body than universities

Turkey's Religious Affairs Directorate (Diyanet) surpassed 119 universities with the budget it was allocated in 2021 as part of "Vocational and Technical Education," continuing a trend of extravagant spending by the body. The Diyanet was allocated 54.6 million liras for five projects.

Diyanet head Ali Erbaş is seen in this file photo.

Duvar English

Turkey's Religious Affairs Directorate (Diyanet) was allocated a budget of 54.6 million Turkish Liras out of the state's 2021 budget, surpassing 119 universities' budgets, as the agency is often granted extravagant funds, the daily BirGün reported on March 10.

The Diyanet was allocated the funds for five projects, out of 51 projects total under the category "Vocational and Technical Education," while some 673 projects under "Higher Education" were allocated a total of 5.7 billion liras. 

The only schools that received more funding than the Diyanet were Boğaziçi University, Istanbul University and Cerrahpaşa, Marmara University, Istanbul Medeniyet University and Necmettin Erbakan University. 

Meanwhile, Istanbul Technical University's budget was lower than the Diyanet's with a mere 45.9 million liras, as well as Yıldız Technical University's budget of 35.8 million. 

Diyanet exceeded its 2018 allotted budget by 3 billion TL, with 99 percent of the budget being spent on personnel salaries, according to a September 2019 report by the Court of Accounts.