Official car that costs TL 1 million purchased for Turkey’s top imam
Religious Affairs Directorate President Mehmet Görmez. (Photo: Today’s Zaman)
A luxury official car that costs TL 1 million has been purchased for Religious Affairs Directorate President Mehmet Görmez, the Hürriyet Daily reported on Saturday.
According to Hürriyet’s Nermin Kurt, Görmez’s new car, which is reportedly a Mercedes S500, was purchased using the budget of Turkey’s Religious Affairs Directorate Foundation (Türk Diyanet Vakfı). The foundation also purchased 14 Toyota cars for general directors, the daily said.
Religious Affairs Directorate released a statement on the report on Saturday, stating that the car was not purchased from the budget of the foundation. The statement said the State Supply Office (DMO) purchased the car within the knowledge of the Finance Ministry.
The directorate was founded by Parliament as an official institution on March 3, 1924, after the abolition of the caliphate. It represents the highest Islamic religious authority in the country.
The Diyanet is often the focus of criticism as it represents and promotes Sunni Islam and does not recognize Alevism, a religious group inside Islam. Its budget is paid through taxes received from the whole public.