Recent studies suggest that atheism is rising all around the world, therefore it is not surprising that there is a noticeable increase in the number of atheists and atheist activism in the muslim nations, especially the most moderate of them all, Turkey.
Atheism is a concept that has not been known or understood properly in the islamic world, including Turkey, until the recent times. And these recent times are so recent that it actually means the last decade or so, or the “internet age”.
Before the recent times, the term “atheist” or its Turkish equivalent “ateist” was just a foreign word. It was a western word that was poorly understood, that was typically used in connection with communism, and also was being confused with satanism or similar views. People didn’t really know what it meant, and they didn’t care. Of course they knew it had something to do with not believing in God (or ‘Allah’ in this case), but it was thought to mean someone who has no moral values, a sociopath, or a mentally or psychologically ill person. Read More »
FoRB (Freedom of Belief Initiative)’s interview with me (Aydin Turk):
İÖG (Turkey) / Freedom of Belief Initiative Interview with Atheist Forum Editor on Freedom of Thought, Religion or Belief in Turkey, state-religion relations, new Constitution and Article 216 of the Turkish Criminal Code.
İÖG (Turkey) / FoRB Initiative): How many atheists/agnostics do you estimate are in Turkey? Is there official data or research on which this estimate is based on?
The general thought is that the percentage of atheists in Turkey is very low, approximately 1-3%. But I am unaware of any concrete or reliable statistical work on this. Most of the existing work applies to certain groups, such as university students etc. Read More »