People Trust Religion Above Other Institutions

Recently released findings of the World Values Survey indicate that 64 percent of people around the world still have faith in religion. The World Values Survey consists of 200,000 surveys in 81 countries including Turkey between 1999 and 2002. The 81 countries surveyed represent 85 percent of the world population. The results of the study were announced at a conference organized in the Spanish capital of Madrid yesterday.

The survey asked participants whether they agreed or disagreed with the following statement: "Politicians who do not believe in God are not suitable for public office." 37 percent of respondents said they agreed, 47 percent said they disagreed, and 16 percent said they were undecided. Among respondents in Turkey, 61 percent agreed with that statement, 27 percent disagreed with it, and 12 percent were undecided. 93 percent of Turkish people disclosed that they find strength and consolation in religion. Reportedly, this is the highest percentage in the 81 countries surveyed.

Across all surveyed countries, 64 percent of participants said they trust religion, 61 percent trust the military, 50 percent trust the government, 47 percent trust big companies, 44 percent trust the media, 41 percent trust the parliament, and 31 percent trust political parties. In Turkey, on the other hand, trust in the media earned 34 percent and trust in the parliament earned 43 percent. When participants were asked to sort a list of items by importance, 28 percent of participants in Turkey placed expensive living conditions at the top. Providing more public involvement in important government decisions was second on the list at 27 percent, protection of order received 26 percent, and protection of freedom of expression earned 19 percent. While the protection of order in the country is at the top of the list in other countries, expensive living conditions only made top priority in Turkey and Brazil.

The statement: "Even though democracy has some problems, it is the best government method," was agreed upon by 88 percent of Turks. Reportedly, the results in the other countries were almost identical. The results also show that, following Sweden, Turkey is the second most sensitive country to the environment.