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Study finds Turkish youth less pious than expected in last decade

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Although Turkey’s Islamist government has been trying to increase the level of piousness in the society, the number of young people fulfilling their daily religious duties over the last decade has been in decline, Bekir Ağırdır, president of the Konda polling company, told the T24 news website.

Members of the younger generation who fast during Ramadan dropped from 74 percent in 2008 to 58 percent in 2018, Ağırdır said.

Young people who say they pray five times a day decreased from 27 percent to 24 percent in the same period.

“Young ones now tend to marry older. The number of people who live alone is increasing. Fewer and fewer people describe themselves as ‘pious.’ People who say they are atheists went from 1 percent to 4 percent of the population. The number of women who wear headscarves also on the decline,” Ağırdır said.

In 2013 then-Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said his government would create a “pious generation” by opening new religious schools and supporting projects involved with religion.

Ağırdır believes the main reason for the decrease in piousness, however, is the extreme urbanization of Turkey in the last decade.

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