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A different country, a different practice of Islam…. HALE ISIK (Visiting Fulbright) hisik@mercyhurst.edu. MAJOR WORLD RELIGIONS. Muslims in the World Today. MAJORITY:. Albania Afghanistan Algeria Azerbaijan Bahrain Bangladesh Brunei Chad Eritrea Egypt Gambia. Malaysia Mali

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a different country a different practice of islam

A different country, a different practice of Islam…


(Visiting Fulbright)


predominantly muslim countries





















Saudi Arabia


Predominantly Muslim Countries
  • Guinea
  • Indonesia
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Jordan
  • Kuwait
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Lebanon
  • Libya
  • Maldives
  • Sierra Leone
  • Somalia
  • Sudan
  • Syria
  • Tajikistan
  • Turkey
  • Tunisia
  • Turkmenistan
  • Uzbekistan
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Yemen
These nations total 11,883,889 square miles (20.6% of the world's land area), 1.4 billion people (22% of the world's population),
What are the fundamental similarities between Islam, Judaism and Christianity?




of Islam


IslamAn Abrahamic Religion

  • Muslims are strict monotheists.
  • They believe in the Judeo- Christian God, which they callAllah.
  • Muslims believe that the Torah and the Bible, like the Qur’an, is the word of God.

Peoples of the Book


The Prophetic Tradition






Muslims believe that the Quran is God’s last revelation


what do we know about muslim societies

Some preconceptions..

  • Muslims become terrorists.
  • Muslim men wear long robe like clothing have long beards and wear something on their heads.
  • Women have to cover themselves only their eyes can show.
  • As far as Sharia law is concerned, women are treated as inferior then men.
  • Men are more educated women take care of housework and child care.
  • The word of 2 women equal that of 1 man in court.
  • Men can have up to 4 wives.
  • Conclusion..
  • All religions are dependent upon the followers.
  • We often judge faiths as Islam by its “interpreted” teachings and by the failed practice of Muslim communities.
europe turkey asia

Turkey is geographically, politically and officially

part of two continents - Europe and Asia.


The historic palette of Turkey is traced to Stone Age settlements constructed in 10,000 -7500 BC, and here, today,
  • unforgettable names like Troy and the Trojan War,
  • Homer, Iliad and Odyssea,
  • Alexander the Great, the Holy Roman Empire and
  • the Medieval Crusades, House of Virgin Mary, St. Nicholas
  • the Ottoman Empire

leap from the pages of its ancient history, and many relics and ruins of them still stand for all to view.

anatolia timeline
  • The Prehistoric period
  • The Hittite civilization
  • Urartian
  • Phrygian
  • Lydian
  • Hellenistic
  • The Roman
  • Byzantine
  • Seljuk
  • Ottoman Empire
  • Turkish Republic
    • Deserts???
    • People riding around in camels???
    • Sand storms???

Here are some photos of

islam s history in turkey
Islam's history in Turkey
  • By the end of the seventh century, conversion to Islam had begun among the Turkish-speaking tribes, who were migrating westward from Central Asia.
  • By the 10th century Turks were Muslims.
  • Turks settled in Anatolia following the defeat of the Byzantines at the Battle of Manzikert (1071).
  • The conquest of the historic Byzantine capital of Constantinople--which is now called Istanbul in 1453 enabled the Ottomans to consolidate their empire in Anatolia and Thrace and expand...
The OTTOMANS (1281 – 1922) later revived the title of caliph* during the reign of Sultan Selim.
  • Justice was dispensed by religious courts; in theory, the codified system of sharia regulated all aspects of life, at least for the Muslim subjects of the empire.
  • Religion was not forced on non-muslims, they had total freedom to practice Christianity, Judaism, etc.

former title for any of the religious and civil rulers of the Islamic world, claiming succession from Muhammad

Overrun, conquered, and eventually lost by a a great number of forces over history since the beginning of time, the modern country of Turkey was founded in 1923 from the Anatolian remnants of the dissolved Ottoman Empire by its national hero Mustafa KEMAL, a charismatic generallater honored with the title ATATURK, "Father of the Turks." Under his authoritarian (and rather effective) leadership, the country adopted wide-ranging social, legal, and political reforms.


some more basic facts about turkey
Some more basic facts about TURKEY..
  • About 98% of the population is officially Muslim, the majority of whom are Sunni. The actual percentage of Muslims is slightly lower;
  • the Government officially recognizes only three minority religious communities--Greek Orthodox Christians, Armenian Orthodox Christians, and Jews--and counts the rest of the population as Muslim, although other non-Muslim communities exist.
some more basic facts
Some more basic facts..
  • Turkey is the most “westernized” and modern country in the Islamic world.
  • Turks have no difference in the governmental system with other European/western countries which are also secular.
  • The secularization of Turkey started in the society during the last years of Ottoman Empire and it was the most prominent and most controversial feature of Atatürk's reforms.
Under his leadership, the caliphate--office of the successors to Muhammad, the supreme politico-religious office of Islam, and symbol of the sultan's claim to world leadership of all Muslims--was abolished.
  • The power of the religious authorities and functionaries was reduced and eventually eliminated.
  • The religious foundations were nationalized, and religious education was restricted and taken under government control.
what was new about the new turkish republic
What was new about the NEW “Turkish Republic”?

Under ATATURK’s Reform Laws:

AIM: to raise Turkish society above the level of contemporary civilization and to safeguard the secular character of the Republic:

  • Ottoman sultanate was abolished
  • The caliphate, the religious office that Ottoman sultans had held for four centuries was abolished
  • Sharia law was abolished and a civil system of justice/law was established.
  • Unification of the Educational System (i.e co-ed);
    • Ataturk ordered that all girls attend school. He said that in a modern nation, men and women must be equal. Kemal also gave women the right to vote (in 1930 before the right was given to French, Japanese, Canadian or Swiss women) and take jobs in business and government.
  • Ban of Fez and encouragement for wearing of Hats; (The fez is a hat with a flat top and no brim.)
Closure of Dervish Monasteries and Tombs, the Abolition of the Office of Keeper of Tombs and the Abolition and Prohibition of Certain Titles;
  • The principle/law of civil marriage, religious marriages have no legal standing,
  • abandonment of the Islamic calendar in favor of the Gregorian calendar
  • Adoption and Application of the Turkish Alphabet (abolishment of Arabic script under the language reform),
    • Kemal introduced a western alphabet and ordered all newspapers, books, and street signs printed in the new script. He traveled the Turkish countryside with a blackboard and chalk to personally explain how the letters should be pronounced.
  • Prohibition of the Wearing of Certain traditional Garments ( i.e. VEILs) at certain state/government buildings by officials, and by students at all levels of education that had religious associations.
Atatürk and his colleagues also attempted to Turkify Islam through official encouragement.
    • Using Turkish rather than Arabic at devotions, substituting the Turkish word Tanri for the Arabic word Allah, and introducing Turkish for the daily calls to prayer. 1933
  • Transferring existing historical buildings that have been used as mosques to secular purposes.
    • Most notably, the Hagia Sophia (Justinian's sixth-century Christian basilica, which had been converted into a mosque by Mehmet II) was made a museum in 1935. The effect of these changes was to make religion, or more correctly Sunni Islam, subject to the control of a hostile state. Muftis and imams (prayer leaders) were appointed by the government, and religious instruction was taken over by the Ministry of National Education.
articles from the constitution of the turkish republic say
Articles from the Constitution of the Turkish Republic say…

I. Form of the State

  • ARTICLE 1. The Turkish state is a Republic.

II. Characteristics of the Republic

  • ARTICLE 2. The Republic of Turkey is a democratic, secular and social state governed by the rule of law; bearing in mind the concepts of public peace, national solidarity and justice; respecting human rights; loyal to the nationalism of Atatürk, and based on the fundamental tenets set forth in the Preamble.

III. Integrity of the State, Official Language, Flag, National Anthem, and Capital

  • ARTICLE 3. The Turkish state, with its territory and nation, is an indivisible entity. Its language is Turkish.
  • Its flag, the form of which is prescribed by the relevant law, is composed of a white crescent and star on a red background.
  • Its national anthem is the “Independence March”.
  • Its capital is Ankara.
  • IV. Irrevocable Provisions
  • ARTICLE 4. The provision of Article 1 of the Constitution establishing the form of the state as a Republic, the provisions in Article 2 on the characteristics of the Republic, and the provision of Article 3 shall not be amended, nor shall their amendment be proposed.
constitution contd
Constitution contd..

ARTICLE 10. All individuals are equal without any discrimination before the law, irrespective of language, race, colour, sex, political opinion, philosophical belief, religion and sect, or any such considerations.

  • Men and women have equal rights and the State is responsible to implement these rights.
  • No privilege shall be granted to any individual, family, group or class.
what does this mean
What does this mean?
  • The constitution asserts that Turkey is to be a democracy. Hence, it places sovereignty in the hands of the Turkish Grand National Assembly, an elected body.
  • Moreover, provisions asserting that Turkey is a republic theoretically cannot be abolished. Turkey is also legally a secular* state, due to Article Two of its Constitution.

Secularism or Laicism is commonly defined as the idea that “religion should not interfere with or be integrated into the public affairs of a society.”

turkish identity over muslim identity
Turkish identity over Muslim identity
  • Most Turks are Sunni Muslims; that is, they are among the majority of Islamic believers.
  • There are Shii and Alevi Muslim minorities as well. Only 20% of Turkish Muslims look upon themselves as Muslims first and citizens of the Turkish Republic second;
  • the other 80% see themselves as Turkish citizens first, and count religion as second, third or fourth identity.
religious freedom and secularism
Religious freedom and Secularism
  • The Constitution provides for freedom of religion, and the Government generally respects this right in practice;

however, the Government imposes some restrictions on Muslim and other religious groups and on Muslim religious expression

  • in government offices and
  • state-run institutions,
  • including universities, usually for the stated reason of

preserving the "secular state."

The Constitution establishes the country as a "secular state" and provides for
  • freedom of belief,
  • freedom of worship, and
  • the private dissemination of religious ideas.
  • However, other constitutional provisions regarding the integrity and existence of the secular state restrict these rights. The Constitution prohibits discrimination on religious grounds.
  • The state bureaucracy and the military have played the role of defending traditional Turkish secularism throughout the history of the Republic.
  • In some cases, elements of the bureaucracy have opposed policies of the elected government on the grounds that they threatened the secular state.