People in Turkey becoming less religious - Konda research

People in Turkey appear to be becoming less religious despite the 17-year-rule of the Islamist Justice and Development Party (AKP), according to new research from pollster Konda.

Although the number of those who believe in God increased slightly, the share of those who call themselves religious fell from 55 percent to 51 percent, while the share of those see themselves as extremely religious dropped by nearly a quarter, from 13 percent to 10 percent. 

Turks are worshiping less, and those who fast for Ramadan fell from 77 percent to 65 percent, the study found. “While Turkey remains religious, atheists have become more visible,” Konda said. 

The number of atheists in Turkey has tripled over the past decade, increasing from one percent in 2008 to three percent in 2018, according to Konda’s annual report on changes in Turkish society. 

Turkish society also shows signs of a more liberal attitude toward gender roles. The number of people who say women should get the consent of their husbands to work in a job has decreased from 69 percent to 55 percent over the last decade. Among those aged 32 and under, the share of arranged marriages fell 10 percent over the last decade. 

Among other figures, in 2008, almost half of the Turkish people supported a military coup in the event of political turmoil. In 2018, two years after a real-life failed coup attempt, support for a coup fell to 19 percent. 

The figures highlighted a striking shift in Turks’ news consumption habits. The share of people who read newspapers fell from 61 percent to 26 percent, while social media use leapt from 38 percent to 72 percent. Finally, 84 percent of Turks still get their news from television, a relatively minor drop from the 98 percent in 2018