Essay on Turkey: Religion and Rules


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Essay on Turkey: Religion and Rules

Essay on Turkey: Introduction

Influential religions have an impact on cultures in terms of social life, norms, and traditions. Almost %75 of the world chooses to believe in one of the five most influential religions: Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism (Juan para 4). However, more than 2000 religions exist globally, and each faith shapes an individual in society. When the majority of the community embraces a belief, their lives are shaped around the norms of the practice. Over the centuries, countries embraced one of the five most influential religions, and during the medieval period, these religions had a significant effect on cultures. Most Turkish citizens choose to believe in Islam. However, Turkey is a secular country which means religious norms are separated from the laws. One can highlight that, like many European countries, Turks imposed religious laws during the medieval period, and in the 20th century, they separated from laws and became a subjective matter for individuals. Therefore, Islamic rules no longer have political power in the country, but it is connected to the Turkish culture in terms of invisible social norms and traditions.

Body Paragraphs

Islam is connected with Turkish culture because Turkish citizens embraced it more than ten centuries ago. Until the 20th century, they lived according to religious norms, which shaped their cultural images and models. Like many European countries, Turkey has a long history in terms of religious impacts. Therefore, their common language is full of Arabic words such as Inshallah and Mashallah. Also, their names represent sacred Islamic figures such as Meryem and Muhammed. However, only a part of the population refuses to believe in Islam, and they do not prefer to use Islamic words in common language.

I knew that Turkey is a secular country, and they do not force its citizens to obey Islamic rules. However, in Ethos, the main character Meryem shapes her life according to religious norms. For instance, she asks permission from hodja for a psychiatrist appointment. Also, she values hodja's ideas and perspective about her illness more than she values science. She represents the religious individuals in the society, and her doctor Peri represents the modern individuals in Turkish culture. According to Ethos, Islam has a significant impact and power in religious individuals' lives because they trust hodja's comments more than anything, and they cover their hair which is an Islamic norm for women (Oya np).

On the other hand, Islamic norms do not matter for modern individuals in Turkish society because they are educated, intellectual human beings. They know that science is much more important than a hodja's guidance because they are wise people. One can infer that Ethos reflects two types of social communities in Turkey. One group chooses to shape their lives in terms of religious acts and norms, and religion significantly influences these individuals. However, other groups do not care about it, and they believe in science and education when somebody suffers from mental illness.

A few years ago, I had a Muslim friend, and she was very modern and educated. One time, she invited me to her home for dinner, and when I got there, I saw that her mother's head was covered. However, her family never forced her to cover her hair, and she told me that Islam is an indulgent religion, and she is free to choose whatever she wants. Before I met her, I thought that every Muslim woman had to cover their heads. However, this was not true and changed my perspective about Islam. Therefore, it affected my worldview in terms of indulgence to differences.

Essay on Turkey: Conclusion

After all, this paper focuses on analyzing religious impacts on cultures by referencing the Turkish Tv series Ethos. It reveals the religious effects on Turkish culture because there are different types of characters who represent different communities in Turkey. Also, modern people are not influenced by Islam as much as the other half of the population as they prefer to believe in science than hodjas. Moreover, there are Islamic effects on Turkish society, but it has no political power against the law.


Juan, Stephen. “What Are the Most Widely Practiced Religions of the World?” The Register® - Biting the Hand That Feeds IT, The Register, 7 Dec. 2018,

Oya, Berkun, director. Ethos, Netflix, 2020,

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