A majority of people in Turkey are of the Muslim faith although there are Jews and Christians as well. However, the Alevi Muslims do not agree with most strict religious attitudes found among Sunni and Shiites. For nearly a century governments in Turkey have endeavored to establish a secular feeling in the education system in order to avoid imposing strict religious practices to those who disagree with such attitudes. The Alevi are open to secular ideas and work readily with those of other religions. However, since the rise of Recep Erdogan to power as head of the Justice and Development Party, a new attitude is being pushed in the nation. From now on girls as young as the fifth grade will be able to wear the chador in class, which until this moment has been banned.
Alevi Associations demonstrated outside the Ministry of Education in protest about recent decisions to make religious education compulsory within schools in the nation. They believe such education will strive to present a Sunni attitude within schools. Alevi groups are supported by the European Court of Human Rights which cited recent moves by President Erdogan as resulting in “inadequately equipped (schools) to ensure” religious freedom.