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Former top religious body president Görmez to be rector of new university

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Mehmet Görmez, who recently retired as director of Turkey’s Religious Affairs Directorate (Diyanet), will serve as rector of the newly established Turkey International Islam, Science and Technology University.

According to a Hürriyet daily news story on Thursday, Görmez will be the sole person to make decisions regarding the setting up of departments and the recruitment of staff at the university with the title of founding rector.

A law was passed in 2015 for the establishment of the university, and reparations recently accelerated to commence classes at Turkey International Islam, Science and Technology University in the upcoming school year.

On Monday, Görmez announced that he had retired, which triggered speculation in the Turkish media.

According to the Hürriyet Daily News, Görmez’s retirement was the result of problems experienced between him and Culture Minister Numan Kurtulmuş.

Sources said Görmez had disagreements with Kurtulmuş, who was previously a deputy prime minister in charge of the Diyanet.

Görmez worked as though he was the head of an institution directly connected to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for seven years, according to sources. This created problems after Kurtulmuş became [responsible for the] Diyanet, even though it wasn’t an issue with previous deputy ministers [who oversaw] the religious body,” the Hürriyet Daily News said.

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