Uneasy neighbors in Turkey: atheism and Islam

With the Islamic-conservative AKP set to lose its majority in Turkey's upcoming elections, dissenting voices have started to speak up. One of those is the country's only atheists' league. Sertan Sanderson reports. 

According to DW, the latest polls show that Turkey's President and former Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan may have to form a coalition government following the June 7 elections. In its unlucky 13th year in rule, Erdogan's AKP has suffered several image attacks in recent months, triggering defections among erstwhile supporters to other parties, especially within Turkey's minorities.

Among his opponents, a newly-formed group of "Istanbullu" - those born and raised in Istanbul - has grown steadily over the past year and now numbers around 150 individuals across Turkey. Without a party-political agenda, the country's first official atheism league, Ateizm Dernegi, says that it wants to create a platform for like-minded people amid the AKP-driven climate of political Islam.

"Being an atheist in Turkey is not exactly a desirable label. We few are wearing it proudly and we refuse to be silenced by the fear and threats," Morgan Romano, vice-president of the association, said at the group's first public conference in Germany on Sunday.

This BBSNews article was syndicated from Home, and written by Shakak Manteq. Read the original article here.

Shakak Manteq

Shakak Manteq is from Tehran, Iran and is the founder of Iranian Atheists & Agnostics.