According to presentations in Parliament on the 2017 budget, the budget allocated to Turkey’s Directorate of Religious Affairs (DİB) is four times higher than that of the Prime Ministry.
With a 21.93 percent increase in its budget, the National Intelligence Organization (MİT) will also receive a bigger share of the 2017 budget.
The DİB budget amounts to TL 6, 867,000,000 with an annual 5,93 percent increase. The directorate will allocate 79 per cent of its budget for personnel costs, which include imams in each and every mosque across Turkey.
The DİB drew public ire when an ultra-luxurious Mercedes allocated for the use of its president, Mehmet Görmez, made it into the news. The people reacted negatively to such spending for an office that is supposed to be a symbol of humility.
The DİB played a significant role in a failed coup on the night of July 15 by mobilizing the people to resist the putschists.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has often been criticized for using the influence wielded by the DİB and its mosques for his own political purposes.