Turks reject gays or atheists as neighbours

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A survey of Turkish attitudes has found that the vast majority would not want to live next to a gay person.

1,579 persons in 41 cities were polled by Bahcesehir University’s Economic and Social Research Centre.

The results show that Turks are generally happy, think their country will join the EU if it meets all the criteria, but do not want to live next door to people with different identities.

33% said they would not want a neighbour from a different religion, while 88% objected to a gay, atheist neighbour or an unmarried couple.

“Turks regard themselves as religious and say religion is important,” reported todayszaman.com.

“Turks place a high importance on fasting, and a majority of Turkish women wear the headscarf.”

9% said they did not want to live next door to a woman who wears the Islamic headscarf.

The survey forms part of the World Values Survey, first introduced in 1981 in 25 countries to monitor cultural values.

Turkey is a candidate country for EU membership, but concerns about human rights are one factor frustrating negotiations.

If the country was to join the EU it would increase the union’s population by 70 million, 99% of whom are at least nominally Muslims.

In the past few years government officials have made unsuccessful legal moves to shut down several lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender organisations in Turkey on “morality” grounds.