Survey shows majority of Turks are devout believers
ISTANBUL- Hürriyet Daily News
According to the survey, 67 percent of Muslim Turkish people say religion is very important to them, while 84 percent say they abstain from eating or drinking in the daytime during Ramadan. Some 40 percent say they visit a mosque every week. AA photo
Some 84 percent of Muslims in Turkey say they abstain from eating or drinking in the daytime during Ramadan while fully two-thirds of them, with 67 percent, say religion is very important to them, according to a recent survey conducted by the Washington-based Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life.
The survey involved more than 38,000 face-to-face interviews in over 80 languages. The report’s Turkey section was prepared between Nov. 18 and Dec. 19, 2011 and 1,501 interviews were held with adults in 26 cities in the country.
“Two-thirds of Turkey’s Muslims said religion is very important,” read the report, while stating that despite the high percentage who say religion is very important in their lives, only 43 percent of Turkish Muslims said they pray more than once a day.
Just over four in 10 Turkish Muslims, 44 percent, say they visit their local mosque once a week or more, according to the report.
Turkey is the only country surveyed in which a majority, 72 percent, believes the devotional dancing of the “whirling dervishes,” falls within the bounds of Islam.
The report also revealed that 96 percent of Turkish Muslims believe in angels. They were also asked about the existence of heaven and hell. Some 92 percent of responders believe in heaven while 87 percent believe in hell, the results showed.
The study said the Middle East and North Africa was the most religious region in the Islamic world. The percentage of believers in God and the Prophet Muhammad in these regions ranked at 100 percent, according to the survey results.
Alevis ‘not Muslim’: Report
The report also indicated that Turkish Muslims are 91 percent Sunnis. Meanwhile, 17 percent of the participants do not acknowledge Alevis as Muslims, the report said.
“Alevis fall within the Shiite tradition, and they are most numerous in Turkey. A 69-percent majority of Turkish Muslims accept Alevis as fellow members of the Islamic faith; only 17 percent disagree, while 14 percent said they were unsure,” the report said.