The number of Turks who describe themselves as atheists has risen over the past decade, while those who consider themselves religious have decreased, though they are still in the majority. One survey’s findings have rekindled heated debates over political Islam and religiosity in a country that is officially secular but ruled by an Islamist-leaning party since 2002, reports Al-Monitor.
The survey, released last week by the KONDA company, is based on a comparison of opinion polls conducted in 2008 and 2018, and explores social changes in Turkey over the past decade. Canvassing nearly 5,800 people in 36 of Turkey’s 81 provinces, the 2018 poll found that 51% of respondents described themselves as “religious,” down from 55% in 2008. Those who described themselves as “strictly religious” accounted for 10%, down from 13% a decade ago.
While Islamism enjoys all the means and privileges of power in Turkey today, the social transformation it seeks is met with resistance. This resistance is not boiling over in the streets, but, as the KONDA survey suggests, is taking the form of quiet non-acquiescence and even inward disconnection from faith.