Are Turks really that Islamic?


Gereon lockmaker

is a journalist and studied political science, history and international relations in Trier and Istanbul.

About 99 percent of the Turkish population is of Muslim faith. How the believers are divided within Islam, however, is controversial. There are no official data on this.

Religion in Turkey License: cc by-nc-nd / 3.0 / de / (bpb)

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Religion in Turkey

About 99 percent - almost the entire population of Turkey - is of the Muslim faith. The majority are Hanafis and follow a Sunni Islam. How exactly this 99 percent is divided, however, is controversial. There are no official data on this. In 1965, the Turkish state asked for the last time in the census about the ethnic and religious origin of its citizens.

The Foreign Office of the Federal Republic of Germany estimates that around 20 percent of Muslims in Turkey are Alevis. Other estimates vary between 15 and 25 percent.

According to unofficial estimates, the non-Muslims in Turkey, who only make up 1 percent of the population, are divided into approx.60,000 Armenian Christians, 23,000 Jews, 15,000 Syrian Orthodox Christians, 3,500-4,000 Greek Orthodox Christians, 2,500 Roman Catholic Christians, 2,500 Protestants and 1,000 Baha'i.

The Ottoman Empire, which was replaced by the Republic of Turkey in 1923, used religion to differentiate between minorities. The recognition of minorities in the Treaty of Lausanne of 1923, in which the Republic of Turkey was officially recognized as a state and its borders, goes back to this: The treaty only distinguishes between Muslims and non-Muslims and obliges the Turkish state to protect non-Muslim minorities , so Jews and Christians (Armenians and Greeks). Kurds and Alevis are considered Muslims and are therefore not recognized as a minority.