About the Foundation

KerimFoundation was established in 2013 under the leadership of Cemâlnur Sargut with an understanding that sees service to the people as service to God. Our Foundation will work to understand and promote Sufism, one of the ways of life of Islam, and its unique approach that can respond to today’s problems one-to-one, its understanding of ethics that makes people materially and spiritually healthy, and its unique approach that tolerates religious, linguistic, racial and cultural differences between people. In order to raise an enlightened generation that aims to increase the welfare and happiness of the society, has high morals, has the knowledge of the era and teaches Sufism by living it, it will take initiatives to raise the level of education, culture and health of our country and will develop cooperation with public and private institutions for this purpose.
The Foundation aims to serve all segments of society through its activities in the fields of education, health and culture.


To open higher education institutions and their affiliated units.
Organizing National and International Symposiums.
Opening primary and secondary education institutions.
Organizing courses and certificate programs.
Providing scholarships to university students.


To open education and rehabilitation centers to integrate children with special needs into society.
Opening hospitals, medical centers, nursing homes and substance abuse treatment centers.


To develop Turkish culture and art branches and Turkish cuisine, to promote and popularize them at home and abroad.
To carry out musical studies and to establish a Turkish Music research center, institute, library and archive when necessary.
To work for the development of museums and museology, to organize exhibitions.
Restoration, restitution, renovation etc. for the protection of historical monuments. to do it.
To contribute to the development of new design and production approaches, the design of new products and the development of new professional fields.
To carry out activities to raise the place and role of women in society.
To work for the sustainable use of forests, natural resources, clean energy resources, especially “water”, and to protect the environment.
In order to support and promote the aforementioned activities, the Foundation’s fields of activity in the short and long term include publishing activities supported by written, oral, visual and internet technologies, translating and publishing related works.

How was the Kerim Foundation born?

Until today, Kerim Foundation has carried out these activities under the umbrella of the Istanbul Branch of the Turkish Women’s Cultural Association (TÜRKKAD)1 with the core team that formed it. The activities of the Association, especially after 2000, prepared the establishment of the Kerim Foundation and led to many activities that these institutions will carry out together in the future. The first seeds of TÜRKKAD were sown in 1966 by Sâmiha Ayverdi, an exceptional figure in the history of culture and literature. In 1970, the Association gained the status of a public benefit institution, and in 1973, it took its current name and became the first non-governmental organization in its field in our country. The Istanbul Branch of the Association has pioneered the organization of international academic symposiums, especially in the field of Sufism, organized joint exhibitions with institutions such as Hagia Sophia, Topkapı Palace, and the Museum of Islamic Art, and organized numerous conferences and panels in Turkey and abroad. As an institution that has proven its competence in its field, it has been presenting the international “DOST Awards for Service to Islam” since 2005.

Headquartered in Ankara and headed by Emine Bağlı, a former bureaucrat in the Ministry of Culture, this well-established institution has given birth to a foundation.

This force that brought the Foundation to life took its most institutionalized form with the establishment of the Kenan Rifai Islamic Studies Distinguished Professorship Chairs of Islamic Studies at the University of North Carolina in the USA2 and Peking University in China3 with the initiative developed by Cemâlnur Sargut, President of the Istanbul Branch of the association. These chairs are the result of Cemâlnur Sargut’s work in the field of Islamic Sufism abroad for the last ten years, her lectures at North Caroline University, and her domestic initiatives. The chairs are named after the 20th century scholar who said in the 1900s, “Sufism will one day be taught in academies.” It is named after Kenan Rifâî, one of the late Ottoman Sufis of the last century.

On March 6, 2016, the “Kenan Rifai Center for Sufi Studies” was opened at Kyoto University in Japan with the initiative launched by TÜRKKAD and Kerim Foundation.4

1 TURKKAD (1970) Turkish Women’s Cultural Association
2 The Chair of Islamic Studies at the University of North Carolina (UNC) was established by TÜRKKAD Istanbul Branch on February 12, 2009. The University of North Carolina (1789), the first public university in the United States, is ranked 23rd in the world in social sciences. is located at the location. With the chair opened in the Department of Religious Studies, undergraduate and graduate level courses are given and research is carried out.
3 Peking University, formerly Imperial University of Beijing, is China’s first comprehensive public university. 30th in the world ranking in Social Sciences. is located at the location. With the chair opened in the Institute of Humanities, undergraduate and graduate courses on Islamic studies are given and academic research is carried out.
4 Kyoto University is recognized in the academic community for the high level of research it conducts and ranks among the top three universities in Japan. Prof. Yasushi Tonaga, a faculty member of the Faculty of Asian and African Studies at Kyoto University and a researcher at the University’s Center for Islamic Studies, has been appointed as the director of the Center.


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