According to Bardakoglu, Islam countries arrived at a threshold to decide on whether religious affairs and state administration would go hand in hand, as they used to, or everyone would fulfill separate functions. Bardakoglu said that, except some minor problems, Turkey had passed this threshold.
Bardakoglu said, “Religion is a subject that should be balanced. We cannot just leave the direction of it to religious communities, similar to the practice in Europe. We are for a reasonable civilianism.
“As the head of the Religious Affairs Directorate, I should be elected by theology faculties, clerics, and experts.
“We are not an exclusively Sunnite institution. However applications of the Religious Affairs Directorate drew such a picture. We are trying to develop policies that will embrace our Alawite citizens too.
“It is wrong to mingle religion with politics. We reply the phone calls of politicians, but we do not do what they say.
“Reform cannot take place in religion. But we have to question our piety and change it in line with the present circumstances. Modernity and piety are not two concepts that conflict, but rather support each other. We should create the model of modern Moslem. This does not mean a reformation in religion, it means making our religion a more “actual” one. We should lighten our religion by removing the taints coming from geography or culture, and we should make it lighter. This does not mean light-Islam. To the contrary, it means basing religion on the ground of knowledge.”