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Old 07-09-2010, 09:57 AM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
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Turkey is reported to be 99% Muslim - however, I seriously doubt this, as it's a very secular country, almost as much so as the United States, which of course is a highly religious country. Many Turks I've known don't seem to be especially Muslim.
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Old 07-09-2010, 12:14 PM
 
Location: Macao
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Istanbul is somewhat secular, the rest of the country isn't secular at all.

But even in Istanbul, you have the 'calls for prayers' going off all the time, and people obeying them.
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Old 07-09-2010, 12:19 PM
 
Location: Westwood
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It depends on where you are in Turkey. Most equate all of Turkey with Instanbul which would give you the "non-secular" impression.

But that is just not true of the vast majority of the country. When I went to Antioch, or what used to be the place Antioch once was, it was unbelievably secular.
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Old 07-09-2010, 12:35 PM
 
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My impression as a tourist was that most Turkish women wore some distinctive head covering, most often it was the close fitting scarf that covers all the hair and the sides of the face, and a lesser number the face veil that covered that part of the face below the eyes...and even a few burkas. The mosques were very well attended daily for the major calls to prayer.

There are five calls to prayer during the day, and they occur at specific times, by the way. They do not occur "all the time."

Because I saw women dressed in this way everywhere I turned, and because the mosques were well-attended every day of the week my own impression of the presence and importance of Islam in Turkish life was that it was very important.

Istanbul certainly had many more women dressed in non-distinctive dress than anywhere else. But are not for a minute was I unaware of the religious faith of the people.
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Old 07-09-2010, 01:44 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
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But you wouldn't say it's really 99% would you? i mean that is extraordinarily high.
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Old 07-09-2010, 02:16 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MimzyMusic View Post
But you wouldn't say it's really 99% would you? i mean that is extraordinarily high.
I don't really feel in a position to say. Certainly the number of people who appear to be practicing their religion in some obvious fashion is very high. However, this does not mean that all the women I saw without head coverings do not consider themselves Muslim, nor the same for those many men who do not respond to the call to prayer.

However, I do know from living in the U.S. that a surprising number of people who appear to be very secular will identify as Christian or Jewish if faced with a blunt question. I am assuming, based on this, that there people in Turkey with very secular lifestyles and appearances, who would do the same.
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Old 07-10-2010, 07:25 AM
 
Location: Raleigh
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Originally Posted by kevxu View Post
I don't really feel in a position to say. Certainly the number of people who appear to be practicing their religion in some obvious fashion is very high. However, this does not mean that all the women I saw without head coverings do not consider themselves Muslim, nor the same for those many men who do not respond to the call to prayer.

However, I do know from living in the U.S. that a surprising number of people who appear to be very secular will identify as Christian or Jewish if faced with a blunt question. I am assuming, based on this, that there people in Turkey with very secular lifestyles and appearances, who would do the same.
I lived in Turkey for 2 1/2 years. The government of Turkey is secular. That doesn't mean the people are. Yes, I believe that 99% of the population, if pushed, would say they are Muslim. In fact, you have to be very brave to be Christian in that country. In the past two or three years, several prominent Christians have been murdered.

And, with the most recent election in Turkey, the government is becoming less and less secular.

I recently knew a young woman from Turkey who was not a practicing Muslim but she definitely thought of herself as Muslim. It was her hope that the government remain secular. That is not happening. They were dissed by the EU, so now they are leaning toward Iran.
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Old 07-10-2010, 07:36 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MimzyMusic View Post
But you wouldn't say it's really 99% would you? i mean that is extraordinarily high.
Is it wrong if a country is 99% muslim? You can be the majority of one religion yet still secular. I've only spent time in Istanbul, Izmir and Antalya... in those places Turkiye felt very secular, even (or despite of) the call to prayer outside my hotel room in Istanbul (it was across a mosque). You will see women dressed in all black next to women in jeans and western attire.

Hard to quantify Turkey as not secular or secular. As others have mentioned... it depends on where. Its the same story in the US, some areas are more religious than others.
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Old 11-07-2010, 11:45 AM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
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I would idk, guess maybe Turkey is 80% Muslim? i mean 99% seems impossible, skeptics exist in every society.
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Old 11-07-2010, 07:34 PM
 
Location: 30-40N 90-100W
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Religiosity Highest in World's Poorest Nations

Turks Downbeat About Their Institutions - Pew Research Center

Turkey tends to be fairly secular and skeptical by the standards of Muslim nations, but fairly religious compared to Europe. And as mentioned it probably depends on where you are in Turkey. As with many places I would assume the more rural areas are more religious and places like Istanbul maybe less so.

Historically the military tended to be "Kemalists", followers of Attaturk, who discouraged the government from veering too far from official secularism. So the Turkish women I believe were discouraged from being veiled if they worked in government offices. That might still be so. I know they officially still maintain a separation of religion-and-state even though a religious-party is in charge. From what I've heard though they're more like a "Family Values" party and not remotely "Islamist."
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