Stop Persecuting Atheists in Turkey

Target: Ahmet Davutoğlu, Prime Minister of Turkey

Goal: Support Turkish Atheists in their request for acceptance by the Turkish government.

Atheists in Turkey are fighting to be recognized in their own country. With atheism becoming more prevalent than ever, it is time for a change. Urge the Turkish government to accept atheism as an official belief system and take a step towards religious acceptance.

Historically, religion has played a large part in Turkish identity. Babies are born into their parents’ belief systems and are designated a religion on their birth certificates. Religious preference is also marked on all ID cards. Atheism is not an option on these documents. If a baby is born to an atheist, it is marked as ‘Muslim’ on all official documents. Posting atheist content online also results in persecution. This can include anything from loss of employment and eviction to being physically assaulted. Atheists are often afraid to speak about their beliefs due to the fear of themselves or their families being harmed.

In a historic move, Turkish atheists started their own association titled Ateizm Derneği. The Turkish government, however, felt that the associations’ website violated a law that forbids hate, enmity, and degradation of humanity. The site has been taken down and any non-theist internet content is heavily policed with legal consequence.

Polls taken in 2015 state that over 5.5 million atheists are currently residing in Turkey. Even the European Union now recognizes atheism as a belief system. It is time that Turkish government accepted all of its citizens without persecution. Sign below to stand with the Turkish atheists and demand that they receive the same recognition and respect as every other belief system.


Dear Prime Minister Davutoğlu,

In Turkey, atheists are being persecuted for their beliefs. They are subjected to unemployment, eviction, and even beatings due to their beliefs. It is time to stop censuring atheists and grant them their deserved rights as citizens of Turkey.

There are currently over 5.5 million atheists in Turkey. This makes up a large percentage of the Turkish population. With these numbers, this belief system should not be questioned. We demand that  atheism be an option on all legal documents including birth certificates and ID cards. We also demand that you halt all persecution of Turkish citizens due to their belief systems and allow the internet to be a place to speak freely about any and all non-violent belief systems.

The EU now recognizes atheism as a religion. It is time that Turkey followed suit and embraced all of its citizens regardless of belief.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: clarita

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