Eastern Orthodoxy
Turkey (Country)

How are the Christians treated in Turkey?

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Answered 2012-10-22 12:22:11

Answer 1

The Christians or people of any other faith are treated no different than the Muslims.

Constitutionally, Turkey is a secular country and is a candidate for membership in EU.

Turkey is a multicultural and ethnically diversified society and has been for centuries due to the influx of peoples from different race, religion, color, creed, national origin and culture. During Ottoman empire, Jews were not only tolerated but flourished.

We have found Turkish people in general to be hospitable and friendly during our extended trips to Turkey. In general, it is highly unlikely, that anybody will be particularly interested in your faith, except perhaps as a curiosity in very friendly conversation.

In business settings, the question of religion is completely inappropriate and is never asked. Personal prejudices and biases of individuals cannot be eradicated by enforcing laws except to learn to respect others' points of view and tolerance.

Answer 2

There is an important distinction to be made between tourists who happen to be Christians (even overtly like missionaries) and endemic Christians who live in Turkey on a day-to-day basis. The former are well-treated since speaking well of Turkey will promote tourism to that country and increase its wealth. As for the few remaining endemic Christians, especially in Istanbul (which remains one of the most important Patriarchates in Orthodox Church) have been the targets of abuse and bullying.

Historically, the area of modern Turkey had a much larger Christian population than it does today and had two major Christian minorities: the Armenian Apostolics and the Greek Orthodox. The Armenians were mass-murdered (1.8 million individuals) from 1915-1917 in what the Turks refuse call a genocide to this day. The towns and cities in which they used to live have been renamed and there are now almost no Armenians left in Turkey. The Greek Orthodox were removed through a population exchange with Greece in which Greece gave up its Muslim population. This would serve to create two relatively homogenous countries, but remove the need of the Turkish government to deal with the Greek Orthodox community within its borders.

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