Baha’i Prejudice Continues In Turkey

A world wide six million member religious group continues encountering prejudice in Turkey which refuses to recognize the Baha’i faith as a significant religious entity. A Baha’i is not allowed to enter his/her religious faith on identify cards which are important documents in modern societies. Although, the Turkish Baha’s community does not encounter the severe discrimination against them which is practiced in Iran, they still confront the daily issues of being an ignored religion in a society that essentially is Muslim. A European Union report noted, “administrative documents such as identify cards include an entry on religion that may be filled in or left blank. this might lead to discriminatory practices.” The United States State Department has also expressed its concerns over the manner in which people of the Bahai’ faith are treated in Turkey. It is common for Interior Ministry police to check up on them and create an image that somehow a Baha’i is not a loyal Turk. Parents of Baha’i children have to deal with their children being given instruction in the Muslim faith in schools, but there is no allowance for learning about their own religion.

It is clear that Baha’i members do not deal with threats of jail and loss of jobs which is very common in Iran, but there is no reason why Turkey cannot recognize the religion and accord it all the freedom and opportunities provided other religious faiths.