Religiousness among youth in Turkey has decreased in the last decade, the head of a poll company said, adding that the government's aim to raise a pious generation has failed.
KONDA Research Company General Manager Bekir Ağırdır said that the efforts of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has failed to go beyond "political engineering."
"The research conducted between 2008 and 2018 with young people showed that the AKP's attempts to raise a pious generation remained as political engineering," Ağırdır told T24, referring to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's remarks on creating a pious generation.
Ağırdır also said that the ratio of youth performing prayers and fasting during Ramadan decreased in years, adding that the percentage of the youth describing themselves as "traditional conservative" decreased to 43 percent from 45.
Those who define themselves as "pious conservative" decreased to 15 percent from 25, while those who said that they're "modern" increased to 42 percent from 29.
Commenting on the findings of the past decade, Ağırdır said that the main reason behind these changes is urbanization and metropolization, adding that Turkey experienced late modernization in social life, as well as late urban practices.
"The youth is affected by this the most, because they are out on the street in cinemas or theaters. The ratio of youth reading books increased. This concrete change also changes their mindset. Positive changes are taking place in terms of how faiths, identities and sexual orientations are perceived," he said.
Saying that the daily practices of the youth that define themselves as "pious" changed in years, Ağırdır noted that the percentage of those fasting decreased to 58 from 74.
"Those who said that they regularly perform prayers decreased to 24 percent from 27. They get married later. Those who live alone are increasing," Ağırdır said, adding that the percentage of atheists increased to 4 percent from 1.
"Those who wear headscarves also decreased to 50 percent from 57-58," he also said.
People don't have time for religious activities in metropolises and the majority of the moral and cultural references are not related to religion anymore, Ağırdır said, as he noted that the youth in Turkey is different from the previous generation.