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'Spying imams' spark new crisis between Europe, Turkey

Because of accusations of espionage, Turkey had to recall religious attaches and official imams from several European countries.
An imam passes the Turkish flag during a demonstration in support of Turkey's President Erdogan (not pictured) at the Sarachane park in Istanbul on July 19, 2016. 
Turkey has demanded the resignation of 1,577 university deans suspected of being connected with Friday's attempted coup, state-run news agency Anadolu reported July 19. The country's higher education board made the demand for deans at state and private foundation universities to resign, Anadolu said.
 / AFP / ARIS MESSINIS        (Photo credit sh
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Under the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), budget allotment for the Religious Affairs Department (Diyanet) — Turkey's official religious body — has increased every year. In 2017, the Diyanet had more money than 11 ministries.

According to Diyanet statistics, today there are 86,760 mosques in Turkey, all under its jurisdiction. With the number of its personnel reaching 117,000, the Diyanet, which is endowed with ample financial resources and has educational and publishing bodies, is like a state within a state.

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