Survey Shows Turkish Society Becoming Less Conservative
By: Nazli Ilicak Translated from Sabah (Turkey).
The Open Society Foundation and Bogazici University have completed their research on “Conservatism in Turkey.” The findings of this poll demonstrate that, despite claims to the contrary, when compared with the year 2006 Turkish society has not become more conservative. Rather, it has united in a “moderate conservative” understanding in which radical factors were tamed. This situation is summarized in the final report: “It is evident that perspectives on both the political realm and personal life happen to converge to a middle point, removed from extremes. In other words, the number of those who describe themselves as either extremely conservative or extremely non-conservative is decreasing. Accordingly, the number of those who describe themselves as moderately conservative is increasing.” Let me present the data. According to the poll 15.7 % of respondents see themselves as “totally non-conservative,” 30% of them describe themselves as “fully conservative” and 49.9 % of the respondents fall somewhere in between (it was 39.5% in 2006).
About This Article
Despite gains by the Islamist AKP Party and fears of increasing “Islamization” in Turkey, a recent survey by the Open Society Foundation confirms that Turks are more moderate than they were six years ago, Nazli Ilicak reports.Publisher: Sabah (Turkey)
We are Becoming More Conservative but Moderate
Author: Nazli Ilicak
First Published: October 6, 2012
Posted on: October 10 2012
Translated by: Ceren Kenar
Categories : Turkey
We can spot similar findings in the “Values Survey” conducted by Yilmaz Esmer, a professor at Bahcesehir University. The study demonstrated the conservative structure of Turkish society and showed the importance attributed to the family. The research conducted by the Open Society Foundation confirms this fact: 50.4% of respondents said that the most important social institution that should be protected is the family. Since I believe in the dictum “a strong family structure will form a unified and strong nation,” I am personally very glad to see this result.
The same study demonstrates that, compared with the results of 2006, our society has become more tolerant regarding sexuality and women. When asked: “What kind of a sexual lifestyle would bother you?” 68% of the respondents said homosexuality (it was 72.8% in 2006). In a similar vein, those who find cohabitation disturbing decreased to 56.7% (it was 61% in 2006). Those who tolerate promiscuous dress for women included 64% of the respondents, while this number was 47% in 2006. Those who say that they are not bothered by women’s flirting remains the same; it was 59% of the respondents in both 2006 and 2012. The percentage of those who say that they are not bothered by divorced women increased to 87% in 2012, from 84% in 2006. The percentage of those who are not bothered by those who drink increased to 46% in 2012, from 44% in 2006. The percentage of those who are not bothered by those who go to bars and clubs increased to 49% in 2012, from 38.8% in 2006.
The results of this research might appease the concerns of those who were worried about the “Islamization” of Turkish society. When there is no pressure imposed upon them, people tend to adopt more moderate views and attitudes. This study confirms this view.
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