Change and continuity in patterns and levels of religious values, commitment, and practices in Turkey




Yilmaz, Murat

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In this thesis, I assess religious change among Turkish adults from 1991 to 2006, paying particular attention to age, birth cohort, and period effects. Like a number of other countries in the region, Turkey is an overwhelmingly Muslim nation. However, Turkey exhibits distinctive levels of religious commitment and the religious practices of Turkish people are substantially different from those observed in other Muslim nations. Furthermore, Turkey has undergone significant political change over two past decades, marked most notably by the rise of more pro-religious parties and leaders. Using data from the World Values Survey, this project examines the degree to which patterns of Turkish religious belief, commitment, and practice are marked by change or continuity. Among its other virtues, the World Values Survey offers probability samples of Turkish adults based on repeated cross-sectional surveys, and features a number of excellent religiosity measures. Particular attention is given to processes of intra-cohort change and cohort replacement. The results reveal a positive age effect in support of life cycle theory coupled with a general pattern of desecularization. The implications of these findings are discussed.


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age-period-cohort, religious change, Turkey