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Turkey has been home to all three great revealed religions Islam, Judaism and Christianity for centuries. Turkey is also the only Islamic country which is a secular state.


Turkey is a secular state with no official state religion and is in fact the only secular Islamic country in the world where religion has no place in the running of the state.

The majority of the Turkish population is Muslim but in Turkey religion is strictly a private affair as with other European countries.

However, the call for prayer can be heard five times a day and there are two Islamic festivals in the country alongside the secular national holidays: Seker Bayrami at the end of Ramadan, and Kurban Bayrami.


Mosques are usually closed to visitors during prayer times. As in any place of worship, visitors should speak quietly and behave respectfully.

Everyone should wear clothes which cover their legs, so no shorts for either sex, and women should also make sure that their shoulders and head are covered. Shoes should be removed before entering a mosque.


There are also Christian and Jewish minorities throughout the country. The constitution guarantees freedom of religion and the right to worship. During the time of the Ottoman Empire, people of many different faiths lived in what is now Turkey, and since that time, this diversity has been preserved.

Today there are almost 240 churches and 36 synagogues open for worship in Turkey.