Religiosity and tolerance in Turkey: Is Islam the problem?
Bilgili, Nazlı Çağın
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This study analyses the impact of religiosity on tolerance in Turkey, where social divisions are deep, and where religiosity is one significant source of such divisions. In going beyond survey research studies which limit the discussion to individuals' levels of tolerance, this analysis aims to provide a deeper understanding of tolerance through qualitative interviews that make use of a series of vignettes. In such interviews, the respondents are consulted about their attitude towards various out-groups, with the design of the vignettes illuminating the sensitivity of such attitudes to variation in the forms of relationships described. Besides the majority/minority division, the polarizing impact of the religious/secular divide is also investigated. The findings suggest that intolerance is a common problem within Turkish society amongst both religious and secular communities, and that religious and secular respondents exhibit different preferences amongst the out-groups. Moreover, this study reveals that attitudes towards out-groups are sensitive to the form of relationships depicted.