State of the Nation: Happiness, Intolerance, Fear

This post was extensively updated.

The results of a new study, The Turkey Values Survey, has caused a stir in Turkey. It shows a rise in conservative attitudes (though not a rise in religiosity), especially towards women (and by women), and high intolerance toward people with other beliefs and lifestyles (although ideological differences play little role these days).  There has been a significant decline in trust in the military and police and a rise in trust in elected government. It also shows that people are less willing to stick their necks out by signing petitions or attending legal rallies. People are worried about economic issues, losing their jobs, and their phones and emails being secretly scanned by the state. Interestingly as many people are worried about civil war as are worried about losing their jobs. Yet they’re relatively happy.

23% of respondents support the idea that a man can marry more than one woman (up from 10% in 1996)

62% say women should always obey their husbands (that rate hasn’t budged in 15 years) (57% of women think so.)

33% say some women deserve to be beaten by their husbands (up from 19% in 1996). 27% of women think so.

70% believe that children may be damaged if their mothers work outside the home.

71% think men make better political leaders. (55% think people who don’t believe in God aren’t suitable to be politicians.) [I wonder if that's similar in the US, maybe higher. JW]

61% think it’s religiously forbidden (günah) for women to wear bathing suits at the beach.

4 of 10 people said people should involve more religion in their lives rather than science.

44% believe restaurants should be closed during Ramadan (the 2007 poll showed 39%)

63% think books and publications that attack religion and religious values should be banned.

With regard to religion, 64% believe that religion means obeying rules and customs, while 36% believe it means doing good deeds for others. [This fits with an authoritarian, hierarchical society where everyone obeys the rules, or else. JW]

81% consider themselves to be religious; 87% fast, 57% sacrificed an animal on the last Sacrificial Holiday; 70% pray, 97% believe in hell.

Who do you not want as a neighbor? 84% don’t like gay neighbors. Followed by a 68% dislike of unmarried couples, 64% people who don’t believe in God, 54% Jews, 54% people who want sharia law, 48% Christians, 26% people whose daughters walk around in shorts.

On the other hand, with regard to Alevis, 58% of the population thinks their houses of worship (cemevleri) should be given the same legal status as mosques. [Presently they're classified as cultural centers. JW]

75% trust the Turkish Armed Forces (2008: 90%, 2009: 86%) That number was 43% in the southeast.

75% trust the police; 41% trust the press.

Trust in government increased 32% over 10 years. 2001 it was 29%, now it’s 61%. But 57% think old people have too much political power.

Willingness to sign a petition: 10% (decreased by 15% in 20 years). People also are more hesitant to attend legal protests or labor actions.

How much respect is shown to human rights in Turkey? 15% think quite a bit, up from 4% in 2001.  16% think ‘not at all’.

Yet people are fairly happy: 37% very happy, 40% somewhat happy, 19% not very happy; 3% not happy at all.

What are people worried about? In this order: Cost of living, getting their kids a good education, terror attacks, losing a job and finding a new one (68%), “Civil war” (68%), someone snooping in their email and mail. 15% said they had trouble this past year finding enough to eat.

[I pieced this together from news articles here, here, and here, but was unable to locate the actual current Turkey Values Survey online. (The World Values Survey site doesn’t have it.) If anyone has a link, I’d appreciate it. I’d like to see the data myself.

13 Responses to “State of the Nation: Happiness, Intolerance, Fear”

  1. Wow considering that I am an athiest who wears shorts and lives with her boyfriend, it seems that a majority of my neighbors do not like me! Sad news for Turkey.

  2. You did not have to announce that in public ;)

    Jenny, I think the report is not complete (I also looked); Turkey is only one of the countries involved.

  3. Perhaps Yilmaz Esmer might be able to send you the portion of the report he was responsible for: http://www.bahcesehir.edu.tr/fakultesayfa/akademikkadro/act/isletme/program/siyasetbilimi/id/0202

  4. [...] Values Survey Kamil Pasha State of the Nation: Happiness, Intolerance, Fear Extracts from which are on the Kami Pasha blog. __________________ Fear an ignorant man more [...]

  5. “23% of respondents support the idea that a man can marry more than one woman (up from 10% in 1996)”

    and here is the response:

    http://www.evetgazetesi.com.tr/haber-detay/163968-karisi-kocasini-kizgin-yagla-yakti-haberi.aspx

  6. One couple counts as a response to a survey of 1605 people in 54 provinces and 128 districts?

  7. i think Western powers should “free” Turkish women as they did Iraqi Women.

  8. Just so you know, we are capable of figuring out that you’re changing your nick name. I bet it seems like an ingenious stratagem where you come from…

  9. i think there is a big fight here. you can eat each other. make sure i am not a part of it.

  10. No big fight, just big troll.

  11. [...] since they took power in 2002.” I listened, thanked him, didn’t sign the petition (seems that I’m not the only one) and returned to the school’s towering front gate. galatasaray high school's front gate [...]

  12. I found the report: http://www.bahcesehir.edu.tr/Turkiye_Degerler_Arastirmasi_Sonuclari.zip
    .
    I skimmed the above summary too. At least the bit about authoritarianism seems wrong as stated but right in another way (isn’t this fun?). JW says:
    .
    With regard to religion, 64% believe that religion means obeying rules and customs, while 36% believe it means doing good deeds for others. [This fits with an authoritarian, hierarchical society where everyone obeys the rules, or else. JW]
    .
    Turns out the part about religiosity concerns a calculation about afterlife:
    .
    İlginç bir bulgu (değerler araştırmalarında ilk kez soruluyor) dinin esas anlamına ilişkin:
    Halkın yaklaşık üçte ikisi, dinin esas anlamının, insanlara iyilikten ziyade, kurallara ve ritüellere uymakta görüyor. Beşte dörte varan (%79) bir çoğunluk da, dinin bu dünyaya değil, öteki dünyaya anlam kazandırdığı düşüncesinde. Yani halkın önemli çoğunluğu için din, esas olarak ölümden sonrasına hazırlık mahiyetinde kurallar, törenler, ritüeller demek.
    (P. 7)
    .
    But the obedience (and strong leader) argument gets support under the ‘democracy’ heading:
    .
    Türkiye’de, %63’lük bir oran “parlamento ile, seçimlerle uğraşmak zorunda kalmayan güçlü bir lidere sahip olmanın” iyi olacağı görüşünde. Bu oran Danimarka’da %15 iken, Romanya’da ise %74 bulundu. (P. 5)

  13. What’s wrong with “parlamento ile, seçimlerle uğraşmak zorunda kalmayan güçlü bir lidere sahip olmanın” iyi olacağı görüşü?
    .
    I am, as an elitist, in full support of that view.
    .
    I’d much rather “an authoritarian, hierarchical society where everyone obeys the rules” [JW] than the tyranny of commons.

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