High Board of Religious Affairs

HISTORY
The High Board of Religious Affairs was first called “Consultation Board” (Hey’et-i Müşavere) when the Directorate of Religious Affairs was established on March 3, 1924 (1340). It performed its duties by undergoing name changes in the course of time and it was finally called “High Board of Religious Affairs” on 02.07.1965.
 
MEMBERS AND APPOINTMENT PROCEDURE
Board members consist of 16 members including the chairperson. 12 members are selected among 24 candidates by Candidate Designation Board and 4 among lecturers at Faculties of Theology by the Directorate of Religious Affairs and appointed by the Council of Ministers. The current High Board of Religious Affairs took office with a chairperson and 15 members on October 7, 2008. Prof. Dr. Raşit KÜÇÜK was elected chairperson of the High Board of Religious Affairs on 19.12.2011.
 
BOARD EXPERTS AND ASSISTANT EXPERTS
98 Board Experts and 52 Assistant Experts were appointment to the Board under law No.6002. 30 Board Experts and 23 Board Assistant Experts are currently working within the body of the High Board of Religious Affairs.
 
DUTIES
a)The High Board of Religious Affairs is the highest “decision making and advisory” organ of the Directorate on religious matters. Its duties within the law are:
b)To make decisions on religious matters by taking into consideration fundamental information sources and methodology of Islam, historical experience, current demands and requirements, express views and reply to questions on religion.
c)To compile, translate, examine, conduct or have research conducted on religious matters, set up inspection and research groups on matters required, benefit from competent people in the country and abroad in this respect. Purchase services in these areas when necessary and submit its results to the Directorate.
d)To examine and assess different religious comments made by Islamic circles, religious-social associations and traditional religious-cultural formations in the country and abroad, organize scientific and consultative meetings and conferences on these matters.
e)To follow developments related to Islam, religious and scientific activities, publications and religious propaganda in the country and abroad, assess them and submit the result to the Directorate.
f) To examine printed and audio visual works sent by the Directorate to be examined from the religious point of view and decided whether or not they will be published.
g) To examine religious publications that private people or institutions demand to be examined for a fee and give an opinion.
h) To carry out work on organizing a Religious Council.
i)  To carry out work and express views on other matters put forward by the chairperson.
 
COMMISSIONS
The Board carries out its activities by 5 commissions formed within its body. These commissions are:
A commission on examining religious matters and answering questions
A commission on religious services and training
A commission on religious publications
A commission on religious sociocultural formations
A commission on research and development
 
REPLYING TO QUESTIONS ON RELIGION
There are about 440.000 answered written (letters and e-mails) in e-archive platform on answering questions on religion of our institution.
Our institution receives about 200-250 questions on average daily (by phone and orally). Besides, Hello 190-a line on answering questions on religion that continues its activities within the body of 81 provincial offices of muftis connected with our institution, receives about 40-60 questions on average Daily per province.
 
ACTIVITIES CARRIED OUT
 
Religious Councils
The High Board of Religious Affairs organizes Religious Councils every 5 years with the aim of improving services offered by the Directorate of Religious Affairs. 4 Councils have been organized within this scope.
I. Religious Council:01-05 November 1993
(Religious Publications)
II. Religious Council:23-27 November 1998
‘Interreligious Dialogue)
III. Religious dialogue: 26-30 May 2003
(Religion in the EU Process)
IV. Religious dialogue: 12-16 October 2009
(Religion and Society)
 
Consultation Meetings on Current Religious Issues
I.Consultation Meeting on Current Religious Issues (15-18 May 2002 İstanbul-Method to Correctly Understand and Interpret Religious Texts, Women’s Problems, Prayers and Discussions on Hajj)
II. Consultation Meeting on Current Religious Issues (16-18 November 2007/ Kızılcahamam- Social Life, Medical Developments, Religious Problems Originating From Trade)
III. Consultation Meeting on Current Religious Issues (10-12 December 2010/Afyonkarahisar-Issues on Business life)
IV. Consultation Meeting on Current Religious Issues (26-28 November 2011/Afyonkarahisar-Halal Food Issue In Our day)
V. Consultation Meeting on Current Religious Issues (30 November-02 December 2012/ Afyonkarahisar- Some Issues Related to Prayers and Family)
 
Expertise and Other Meetings
An expertise meeting on Current Religious Issues/Ankara-Method to Understand and Interpret the Quran and Hadiths)
International Ru’yetu’l-Hilal preliminary meeting (18-19 February 2013/İstanbul)
A Consultation Meeting on Family Issues (20-22 December 2008/Kızılcahamam)
A Consultation Meeting  on Religious Advisory Services and Fatwa Concept (11-13 December 2009/Kızılcahamam)
I. Scientific Commission Meeting (14 June 2013/Ankara-Setting Lunar Months and Hegira Calendar Union Congress)
 
Workshops
The Board has organized workshops on the under mentioned matters:
Contemporary Belief Problems
Fatwa, History, Method, Style and Language
Islam and Violence
Islamic Ethics
Esoteric Comments in Religion
Mahdi
Calendar ( Fajr and Isha Times )
Activities in the month of Muharram and the Directorate of Religious Affairs
Embryo Research
Women’s Special Conditions
The Outlook of Islam on Different Beliefs and Race
 
Projects
A Project on Religious Developments Data Bank
e-religion software
Standard and Proven Fatwa Project
Astronomical Observation Project
 
ONGOING WORK
Interpretation of the Quran: Significance and Principles
Islam and Mysticism
Irşad (act of showing the true path) Services in Special Regions
Marriage Guide
Astronomical Observation Project
VI. Consultation Meeting on Current Religious Issues (2013)
Setting International Lunar Months and Hegira Calendar Union Congress (2014)
Ethics Book
V. Religious Council:2014