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Are Atheist Tolerated In Turkey?

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I assume most Turks wouldn't be very sympathetic to my situation, they'd probably find my views and such offensive as someone before suggested. I don't see why they shouldn't be sympathetic and how they deal with your ideas depends very much on how you deal with people. If you are polite and friendly and aren't patronising about people with different ideas to yours then you should be OK but if you go wading in mouthing loudly to all and sundry then you're likely to get a hostile reception.

If you are definitely coming over here to live then you've got to be mature about it and make the best of it. Don't go looking for problems. It's easy to make enemies so tread carefully and slowly, take your time to look around the place and get used to it. It won't be easy because it will be very different from what you know but you can make a success of it if you try. If you rubbish everything and act sullen then the only loser will be you.

I think it was a good idea from LostinParadise to try and get onto a Turkish forum and make some friends before you go.

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Not all Turks are the same! Of course, you dont want to talk too much (if at all) about your atheism (until you know someone very well indeed) and don't say USA is perfect or better than Turkey.

I'm taking it that there's no famous turkish atheist. And I love the USA but I don't think it's perfect. After all Europe and Canada and such beat the USA in a lot of fields.

You can probably find things you have in common ..... sports, pop music, films, maybe some TV shows,internet sites, and school of course.

Well, I like the food. But I haven't a clue what turks like. I assume they like conservative and modest things, I like vulgar and offensive stuff :P.

Don't give up before you try! (I am not talking about the family here - they do sound horrendous ....

I am thinking of more modern younger people you might be friends with)

I'm just cursed._____________________________

I don't see why they shouldn't be sympathetic and how they deal with your ideas depends very much on how you deal with people. If you are polite and friendly and aren't patronising about people with different ideas to yours then you should be OK but if you go wading in mouthing loudly to all and sundry then you're likely to get a hostile reception.

Well, okay, I guess I'll have to change that about me. I criticize almost everyone I meet, it's a character flaw. Also probably why I've never had a girlfriend for more than a few weeks.

If you are definitely coming over here to live then you've got to be mature about it and make the best of it. Don't go looking for problems. It's easy to make enemies so tread carefully and slowly, take your time to look around the place and get used to it. It won't be easy because it will be very different from what you know but you can make a success of it if you try. If you rubbish everything and act sullen then the only loser will be you.

Well I'm probably being too hard on my family, they've always been nice to me, they're just stuck in the 12th century.

Turkish forum and make some friends before you go.

Any forums you recommend?
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''I criticize almost everyone I meet, it's a character flaw. Also probably why I've never had a girlfriend for more than a few weeks''most interesting bit you have written in my opinion...says more about you than your mum & if i was a professional in the advice areana its what i would focus on more than your mum & her plans or threats.good luck

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Maybe Sunny has something more specific in mind, but I was just thinking of worldwide friendship type websites (bear in mind I don't tend to use them myself much) such as ICQ, MSN Messenger, yonja.com - there is also one called istanbul.netSomething I wondered .... you say that taking your education further is important to you. And so need to depend financially on your mother for more years to come. What is it that you want to study? Would that be available in Turkey for you? And would your mother (and her family) definitely be prepared to support you during your studies?

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  • 3 months later...

i am a turkish atheist living in adana. its pretty hard to say turkish people think good about atheists. they generally dont. but its a secular country after all. it wont be a problem.

Just dont talk about with a islamic fundamentalist about atheism. and people in here dont hate americans. people generally dont like american governments policy, thats all. dont be afraid of anything :) it will be :cok_guzel: aand :hos_geldiniz:

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  • 2 months later...

Thanks for the welcome guys, I assumed I had annoyed you and I didn't expect that. Yes Abi I do live in Istanbul, and it's a much bigger city than where I lived back in the States. I've been here about a month now. Even my family isn't as nasty and primitive as I thought they'd be. They are very intrusive though, and their plans for me aren't the most dandy, but they're starting to grow on me. And yes I am continuing my education, thankfully and I'm surprised at the amount of English speakers here.

I definitely want to hear more :)

Well ask and I shall tell.
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Welcome back GMB. I also had been wondering what happened to you. I'm very pleased to hear that you are finding T and your family much better than you expected.

Have you managed to find some like minded Turkish teenagers? Did you spend the whole summer in Istanbul or did you manage to get to the ocean somewhere? It would be interesting to hear what things have pleased you, since you were very apprehensive before you came.

You say you are continuing your education, what are you doing, are you going to a school and if so how are you managing with the language?

You did say ask! :)By the way, why is your IP address still showing you as being in Garden Grove?

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No, you didn't annoy us at all I think we were concerned about you. We could see you were going through a lot of stuff at 16 it's not easy when you have to cope with losing your father, living with a woman who although she is your mother is really a stranger to you. If that wasn't enough to contend with you were told you would be leaving the US to live in a country that you knew nothing about with people you didn't really know. I think if you were feeling angry, lost or just plain rebellious it would be understandable.

It will take some time to settle properly but you will get there in the end. You may find that you may go through different phases of loving or hating living here all this is normal and most of us have been through it.

It would be nice if you could post every now and again just to let us know how it is all going. :) :)

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[

]No, you didn't annoy us at all I think we were concerned about you. We could see you were going through a lot of stuff at 16 it's not easy when you have to cope with losing your father, living with a woman who although she is your mother is really a stranger to you. If that wasn't enough to contend with you were told you would be leaving the US to live in a country that you knew nothing about with people you didn't really know. I think if you were feeling angry, lost or just plain rebellious it would be understandable.[

]Well I'm 17 and a new man now. I actually have grown on my family, and I don't see my mom the same way anymore since she's been the nicest she's ever been my whole life, I haven't a clue a why, but she has been, and my family isn't trying to kill me or abuse me or anything that I assumed they would be. They're still conservative dickheads though, but I can live with that.[

]Have you managed to find some like minded Turkish teenagers? [

]Yes and no, not any that are atheist or anything, but many in similar situations to me.[

]You say you are continuing your education, what are you doing, are you going to a school and if so how are you managing with the language?[

]I'm in High School and my teachers are helping me out with Turkish even, it's slowly coming back to me.[

]By the way, why is your IP address still showing you as being in Garden Grove? [

]I haven't a clue, especially since I lived in Anaheim, not Garden Grove, but that is close. That is odd. Then again I'm using my G3 to use internet which will be used up soon, my family doesn't have an internet connection here so I'll have to buy one.
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  • 1 month later...

It would be interesting to hear more of what GreenMountainBoy thinks of Turkey. So, hopefully this question won't divert the conversation too far, but I'm curious.

Is the religious opinion of Turks a matter of region? For example, are they a bit more accepting in the big cities than in the small villages and countryside?

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  • 3 months later...

How you get on as an atheist in Turkey depends entirelly upon who you keep company with, and if you are in a private or public, or official setting. I know plenty of Turkish atheists, and you don't need to wander far into Turkish literary work to find a few prominent ones (not that their atheism is advertised much). Recently I have dramatically switched - due to work, location and relationships - most of the Turkish people with whom I associate, and the difference is quite marked. There is an ample availability of both tolerant (readily accepting) camps and harshly critical.

My first years in Turkey working in a backwater town called Serik, put me in the presence of many friendly people, many of who were so narrow minded due to upbringing that they turned immediately sour and uncompanionable when matters outside their comfort zone of acceptability were raised - such as atheism or criticism of religion. I suspect their reaction to tense conversational salvos with me on the subject was muted due to me being known as the 'foreign kid', and had I been a local of the town I am sure the reaction to my atheism would have been far more harsh.

In utter contrast, my partner and her immediate family and the section of Turkish society they come from are all completely cordial on the matter (not that it's been raised) and many are also atheists. There's a huge segment of Turkish society that is a direct legacy of the secular aspect rooted in Ataturks revolution and reforms. That Ataturk himself could have been an atheist is pretty much never even raised, but it is more than likely he was. Part of this secular camp is quietly and privately religious - only in the respect that they believe in god - and part is athiest, a result of actually reflecting on the subject of religion and coming to the conclusion it's utter inhibitive nonsense. Regardless, you will be more than tolerated (accepted) in this secular camp and will have ample opportunity to get into debates on the matter with like minded people. If your family is traditional, not particularly secular minded (you will have a black and white indication of this if they support the AKP or not) then you may well have a hard time if you make your atheism known. Then again, as a half American person (particularly American on your FATHERS side) they may not expect you to be religious.

On an official front, it's an odd thing. Turkey is VERy secular constitutionally and when you compare it with the UK on paper, the UK seems like a superstitious medieval religious state. So in theory you will not be discriminated by the state in ANY walk of life for your religious beliefs. In practice it is quite different. No Turkish atheist I know has NONE in their religion box on their ID, none would risk it for discrimination in getting work or any task that requires ID to be shown (I'm thinking of the police, a famed bastion of unaccepting traditionalism). If Ataturk had not drunk himself into an early grave then maybe this would not be the case.. Then again, the bloodthirstly selfishness of politicians in his wake would still have turned everything upside down if it meant their popularity.

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