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Turks Examine Their Muslim Devotion After Poll Says Faith Could Be Waning

"Turkey has been governed for most of the past two decades by a party steeped in political Islam. So when a pollster recently surveyed personal beliefs, there was a finding that stood out: Levels of piety were flat, or even declining, compared with a decade ago."

"The apparent shift is not seismic, but it has Turks talking about where their country is headed."

"The survey, by the pollster Konda, is a follow-up to a similar poll in 2008, and the company broke down the results from each side by side to illustrate the comparison."

"While some see changes a decade later as a natural progression, Turkish analysts say the shift could be a backlash, especially among the young, against a religious president and his push to form what he calls a 'pious generation.'"

"Faith down, religious education up."

The percentage-point change for many of the questions is not dramatic: Respondents identifying as "pious" slid from 13 percent in 2008 to 10 percent in 2018, and those choosing "religious" dipped from 55 to 51 percent. Figures for "nonbeliever" and "atheist," which barely registered in 2008, are now at 2 and 3 percent, respectively.


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