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The Cultures of Britain and Turkey

            In Turkey, the main influence on society is religion: "99% of the inhabitants are Muslim" (Carkoglu and Toprak, 2006) with Islam being the second largest religion in the world. The remaining 1% is composed of Christians and Jews, this illustrates that the Turkish culture is comparatively different to the UK where the majority are Christians. "59.3% of the resident population in the UK identify as Christian" (ONS, 2011) although religion is not practiced as much anymore in Britain due to it becoming a more multicultural society where secularism is promoted to create a fair and more equal society. "Everyone is equal before the law, regardless of religion, belief or non-belief" (NSS, 2014). However, Turkey is very patriotic where the people are devoted to their country and this is encouraged from a young age.
             Social organization involves how people in a given society are categorized, i.e. gender or social class. For example, the functionalists' theory of socialization is that society is structured by a value consensus, which is an agreement of shared beliefs and values. This demonstrates that religion strengthens the value consensus in Turkey as it unifies society. Marxist theorist Karl Marx (1971) devised the conflict theory which suggests there is inequality between two main social classes, the bourgeoisie, who are the upper ruling class, and the proletariat who are the working class. "Capitalists exploit their workers by paying them less in wages than the wealth created by their work" (Holburn and Langley, 2004, p.2). The Turkish working class have to work long hours for a very low wage resulting in a lot of poverty and there is a bigger class divide between upper and lower class whereas Britain now has a broader middle working class system. As of August 23, 2014, the proportion of the population below the poverty line in Turkey is 16.9% whereas in the UK it is 14% (CIA, 2014).

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