Pushing political Islam has the opposite effect

The results of a survey released by Konda research have made it clear Turkey is going towards a more secular future. This is surprising as the present government pursues political Islam. The poll has compared views touching on multiple lifestyle aspects among present-day Turks with those polled in 2008. About 55 percent described themselves as pious in the earlier survey. In contrast, only 51 percent responded the same in 2018. The same decade witnessed the rise in the number of individuals “without belief” or atheists from two percent to five percent. The findings by Konda suggests that a rising number of Turks, although religious and conservative, feel much less restricted by Islamic rules. They are also more aware when it comes to the rights of women. They are also much more tolerant of multiple religious viewpoints.

A significant drop has been found in the number of respondents identifying themselves as “religious conservative.” It slid down to 25 percent from the previous 32 percent. The number of Turks who claim to fast during Ramadan, the Muslim holy month, have suffered a sharp decline from 77 percent to 65 percent. The winds of liberal thought are blowing through other aspects of life as well. As per the poll, the number of respondents holding the view that a woman and man must do a religious marriage for cohabitation have dropped by five percentage points to settle at 74 percent finally.

The results of the Konda poll have surprised a number of lay observers. The secular tinted findings are in direct contrast with the phenomena of a majority of voters re-electing politicians who regularly inject devout Muslim beliefs to government policies. Analysts, however, are not surprised. The President Recep Tayyip Erdogan-led Justice and Development Party began their rule from Ankara with a string economic focus, which drew a majority of the votes from the Turkish population. The administration, however, pushed an agenda of soft Islamisation over a period of time. The stress towards political Islam has become more strident in recent times.

The attempts of the Erdogan regime in Turkey to promote religiosity has not resulted in any effective result. According to Murat Somer of Koc University in Istanbul, the efforts to push in religiosity has minimal effect on the Turkish populace. Many have noticed that although public religious acts have been steady, private acts have fallen, signifying religious shallowness.

Resources
  • Konda
  • NPR
  • a href=”https://thearabweekly.com/after-16-years-erdogan-rule-turks-are-less-religious/” target=”_blank”>The Arab Weekly

Follow the Conversation on Twitter