Ali Bardakoğlu was born in 1952 in Tosya in the province of Kastamonu. He has been the President of Diyanet Isleri since May 2003. In 1975 he completed his studies of law at the Istanbul Marmara University and gained Bachelor title at this faculty. Later he became assistant for Islamic law at the High Islamic Institute in Kayseri. In 1982, he earned his PhD in Islamic studies at the Atatürk University and taught as Assistant professor at the theology faculty of the Erciyes University. From 1991 to 1992 he lived in the United Kingdom and in 1994 he visited the United States for the first time.
He is well known in Turkey and Europe as a moderate Islamic leader. He announced, in 2005, two women from Diyanet Isleri as vice muftis (i.e. professional jurists who interpret Islamic law and counselor who help local Muslims on religious issues) for the mosques of the Turkish cities of Kayseri and Istanbul. In February 2006 he participated as an honored guest in the opening ceremony of a Protestant church in Alanya.
Mehmet Nuri Yılmaz
|President of Religious
Affairs of Turkey