According to the Turkish Daily News:

The Baha’i community in Turkey wants official recognition from the state and desires the elimination of prejudices and inaccurate public descriptions of their faith. The Baha’i faith has around 10,000 members in Turkey.


Rights once given to them between 1960 and 1990 were taken away when the Interior Ministry issued instructions introducing a new standardized code system that did not include the Baha’i faith.


“We await the amendment of the laws and code system to enable us to state our religion on identity cards,” said Suzan Merter, the Media and Public Relations coordinator of the Baha’i External Affairs Office. She is a third generation Baha’i who benefited from the former law enabling them to be registered. But she cannot renew her identity card and have her religion stated on it.

No hesitation to say I am a Baha’i Merter said she doesn’t hesitate to say that she is a Baha’i. “I don’t, because this is my identity. What you defend is right and good. We learned the Baha’i faith as a way of life. We learned to be hospitable, virtuous and welcoming of differences. We work for the peace and unity of humanity, which isn’t a thing to be ashamed of. So why should I conceal my religious identity?” she said.

Read full article here.

Turkey is a Muslim country. Religious tolerance is a prominent part of Islamic history. We as Muslims have no reason to deny the right for others to practice their religion freely. Exactly what threat does the Baha’i faith pose to us as Muslims, and what do we gain from oppressing them in countries like Iran, Egypt, Indonesia and Turkey?

To quote the holy Quran:

Surrah 2, Ayat 256:

“There is no compulsion in religion.”

We thus all have the right to choose our paths, and it is our duty to accept, respect, and tolerate one another.

We call upon Turkey to recognize the Baha’i faith and to respect it in the name of Islam. If they would like to do so in the name of politics, then religious tolerance is still key if they want to be considered for admission in the European Union.