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Role of Turkish Islamic Organizations in Belgium: The Strategies of Diyanet and Milli Görüş

Immigration of Turkish guest-workers to Western European countries in the 1960s and 1970s laid the ground for the emergence of various transnational religious organizations. This paper examines transnational organizations of Turkish origin that gained major support and membership in their host societies. Drawing upon a case study on Turks in Belgium, it shows that in the last four decades these organisations went through various transformations depending on the dynamics in their respective immigrant communities, host societies and countries of origin. This essay captures the role and self-adaptation process of Turkish Islamic organisations vis-à-vis the changing environment both in their host countries and countries of origin. It focuses on two Turkish transnational organisations in Belgium: The Islamic Federation of Belgium (IFB) and the Turkish Islamic Foundation of Belgium (TIFB). This essay concludes that political structure in the countries of origin constantly induces transnational organizations to further adopt and position themselves according to changing circumstances.

Role of Turkish Islamic Organizations in Belgium The Strategies of
It is believed that the Belgian state disrespected its constitutional obligations and that it has interfered in the internal affairs of the Islamic faith.
 

Immigration of Turkish guest-workers to Western European countries in the 1960s and 1970s laid the ground for the emergence of various transnational religious organizations. The transnational practices and allegiances promoted through various immigrant based organizations have considerable influence over both the country of origin and the receiving country. In this essay, I will focus on the impact of two specific transnational organizations on the management of religious diversity in Belgium: The Islamic Federation of Belgium (IFB, known as Milli Görüş) and the Turkish Islamic Foundation of Belgium (TIFB, known as the Diyanet). These organizations have been selected on three bases. First, they by far constitute the two most popular religious organizations amongst the Turks in Western Europe. Second, it is assumed that their different

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