Perceptions of Christians in Turkey

A study of the climate of accusations against Christians in Turkish newspapers


  • Wolfgang Häde


Christian identity, Turkey, missionary activities, newspapers, prejudice


Though Turkey has been a secular and democratic country for decades, the public perception of Christians has been affected by rejection and prejudice. In the years from 2001 to 2007, we saw a development from accusations by official institutions and media against Christians actively propagating their faith to acts of violence against Christians culminating in the murders of three Christians in Malatya/Turkey. The study covers five Turkish daily newspapers and their perception of Christians at the height of a media campaign in 2004/2005. It reveals that the different societal groups in Turkey differ strongly in their view of Christians and their activities. Each group, represented by one of the newspapers, tries to use the discussion for their own political agenda. However, none of the newspapers leaves the opportunity unused to instrumentalize words like “missionary” to arouse negative emotions.




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