With a Web Portal, Turkey Makes It Easier To Switch Religions May 25, 2020

With a Web Portal, Turkey Makes It Easier To Switch Religions

If you’re Turkish, all you need now is a computer or a phone to change your official religious affiliation.

Turkey’s e-State government portal has been equipped with a new feature that allows citizens to change their religion on official identification and government records.

The change, which previously required citizens to apply with the General Directorate of Civil Registration and Nationality, can be done online following a new feature added to the portal on Saturday.

Not sure about this one. You could argue that it’s better if a government, especially one as illiberal and as theocratically inclined as Recep Tayyip Erdoğan‘s, has no knowledge of individual citizens’ religions. For census purposes, such data might be legitimately useful, but a proper census anonymizes that information, at least in theory.

Those looking to change their religion on official records are required to fill out a short information form and submit an e-signature.

Turkey [has] a 98 percent Muslim population, but studies suggest that the country’s young population is increasingly distancing itself from religion. The number of atheists in the country has tripled in the country, according to a survey.

More here.

I went to the Turkish government’s site to try to assess how easy or convoluted the change-your-faith process is, but was immediately stymied by the requirement for a citizen ID number and an “e-Government password.”

Any Turkish readers care to fill us in? Can you register as having no religious preference, or as an atheist even? Would you? To what end? Please let us know in the comments.

(Image via Shutterstock. Thanks for Brian for the link)


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