Turkey is the first country in the world where religion is separated from the state. This happened in 1928 after the reforms of Kemal Ataturk and freedom of religion is guaranteed to every citizen. Currently, the vast majority of the Turkish population professes Islam. Most of the residents are Sunni Muslims – about 75%, 20% are the Shiites. Turkey has a large number of mosques – 78000.
Islam – is a monotheistic religion founded by a prophet Muhammad. Compared to other world religions, Islam appeared not so long ago – in the VII century in the western part of the Arabian Peninsula. Dogma, which can be considered as the foundation of Islam, is: “There is no God except Allah, and Mohammed – his prophet.”
In a basis of Islam there are five pillars: strict adherence to monotheism, belief in one God, five daily prayers, fasting during the month of Ramazan, material donations, the hajj – the pilgrimage to Mecca.
A Muslim should pray regularly, five times a day: at sunrise, noon, afternoon, after sunset and early morning. Before namaz it’s necessarily ablution. Islam stands for purity. “Cleanliness – half of faith” – these words are attributed to Muhammad. Every adult Muslim, if he is healthy and provided materially is obliged to perform the Hajj – the pilgrimage to Mecca.
Once a year, a Muslim must fast. Faithful Muslims must fast from the morning until the evening prayer. Required to abstain from anything that can give pleasure.
The holy book of Islam – the Quran, which was handed over to the Prophet Muhammad by Allah through the angel Gabriel.
The important religious feasts:
- Ramazan Bayram, can be also called Sheker Bayram (marks the end of fast)
- Kurban Bayram (Feast of Sacrifice – people sacrificed animals as a sign of sacrifice, part of which are distributed to the poor).
Turks are sensitive to their religion, observance of the rules, instructions and sermons of the Holy Quran. While visiting the mosques visitors should show respect and abide by a set of rules: modest dress, to close legs at least until the knees and women should cover their heads with a head scarf. It’s better not to visit the mosque during prayers.
There are representatives of other religions who lives in Turkey, Christianity and Judaism are the two most widespread religions. This is a sigh of rich history of the country, Turkey is motherland to many biblical characters. On its territory preserved many places that are considered sacred in the Christian religion. In Turkey all religions and beliefs are respected, everyone feels free – for example, the country has more than 300 Christian communities (mostly Greek and Armenian Church), and 36 Jewish synagogues. In 2009, in Belek was built “Garden of Religions” for all believers: a small square fit three churches – the church, a mosque and a synagogue that demonstrate the attitude of Turks towards all religions.