Study Reports that Majority of Turkish People Oppose Extramarital Relationships...

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News & Comment
Study Reports that Majority of Turkish People Oppose Extramarital Relationships, while Turkey’s Capitalist Liberal System Encourages it

News:
A study by Turkish universities, Koc and Sabanci, published this week reported that 72% of those surveyed in Turkey oppose extramarital relationships, including the idea of couples living together without getting married, while 87% of Turkish people believe that couples should be married if they want to have a child. This comes in the same week that Turkish media reported on President Erdogan’s criticism of cohabitation of male and female students at universities and call for more gender-segregated dormitories on campuses. He stated that mixed-gender cohabitation had caused many problems and that, “This is against our conservative and democratic values”.

Comment:
Despite Islam and the Turkish people’s clear opposition to relationships outside marriage, and his own statements against mixed gender cohabitation, Erdogan and his government continue to full-heartedly support and govern over a Capitalist Liberal system that celebrates the Turkish entertainment and tourist industries which actively encourage the free-mixing of men and women and extramarital relationships. This is alongside presiding over a legal framework which allows unmarried couples to live together and engage in intimate relationships outside marriage. Recently, the Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc acknowledged that in Turkey individuals can decide their own living arrangements according to their own wishes, saying, “There is no legal objection or barrier to those who are over 18 years old and who want to live together in rented houses”.


This capitalist liberal system has endorsed the mass production of corrupt Turkish dramas and soap operas that have relentlessly been promoted to the society as well as exported on mass to the Arab world and Indian subcontinent. These shows not only parade women in revealing, sexually provocative dress but also include vulgar, lewd and explicit ideas and scenes as well as glamourising extramarital relationships. All this contributes to the sexualisation of society as well as normalising and desensitizing the disgust towards fornication, adultery, and even having children outside marriage, all of which Islam condemns and that erodes the moral fabric of society. One Turkish columnist writes, “This isn’t broadcasting, this is social engineering in immorality.” It is the same immorality and social chaos that plagues Western states due to their liberal personal and sexual freedoms. It is not surprising then that in June this year, the New York Times described the exponential rise in Turkish cinema as a “triumph of Western values”. However, these same values that encourage individuals to pursue their carnal desires have resulted in 9 out of 10 youth between the ages of 13 and 17 in the UK engaging in an intimate relationship (according to the children’s organisation, the NSPCC) and almost 50% of children being born out of wedlock in the country (according to its Office for National Statistics). This is surely not the future that the Muslims of Turkey wish to see for their society, but one that may materialise if the liberal values and system continues to rule their state. Furthermore, corrupt Hollywood notions of love and romance in the Turkish entertainment industry have generated erroneous, unrealistic, and unIslamic expectations of what to look for in a spouse and marriage, causing some to seek Western perspectives of beauty and qualities in fictitious characters of soap operas in their own husband or wife. Failure to match up has led to individuals looking elsewhere to fulfil those deceptive expectations, resulting in adultery and divorce. Perhaps it is not surprising therefore that the divorce rate in Turkey over the last 10 years has increased by 30%.

However, despite all this, the capitalist Turkish government has actively promoted and financially supported the Turkish drama and cinema industry for the sake of profit and revenue. According to the UK Guardian paper, just a decade ago the international sale of Turkish TV dramas amounted to less than $1 million but by 2010 it had reached $50 million. In addition, the rise in tourism to the country has been attributed in large part to these shows as stated by Turkish Culture and Tourism Minister Ertugrul Gunay at a ceremony in Turkey this January, that presented tourism awards to producers and actors of Turkey’s TV dramas. He said, “Turkey gets nearly $25 billion in income from tourism….the most effective promotion is that of culture and arts…This is the result of our synergy.” He also mentioned that the state had given around 110 million liras of support to Turkish cinema since 2006. Therefore, as with all capitalist regimes, the Turkish government has demonstrated its open willingness to ignore and discard morality, principles, and the social wellbeing of its people for the sake of financial gain, and that all talk of preserving the moral fabric of society is nothing but lip service.

We call the Muslims of Turkey to reject the decadent capitalist liberal system which currently pollutes your land and stands in stark contrast with your noble Islamic values. Replace it with the Khilafah state which truly embodies and will implement your deeply held Islamic beliefs and principles. Through its full application of the Shariah, it will protect our Muslim society from the influx of the debased Western liberal culture, and implement the Islamic social system which effectively regulates the relationship between men and women, minimizing extramarital relationships. This is alongside promoting the pure Islamic values and morals within the state through its education system and media, and enforcing harsh punishments for fornication and adultery. So rather than settling for the empty rhetoric of politicians, call for the Khilafah which will return the sublime principles of your deen to your land.

Written for the Central Media Office of Hizb ut Tahrir by
Dr. Nazreen Nawaz
Member of the Central Media Office of Hizb ut Tahrir
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