Turan Dursun, originally a Ja'fari Muslim from the Twelver Shi'a madhab, first worked as an Islamic cleric before becoming an atheist during his study of the history of monotheistic religions. Turan Dursun wrote a number of books about religion, which included interpretations of Islamic texts. He was an open critic of religion and was frequently threatened by Islamic fundamentalists.
He was eventually assassinated on September 4th, 1990, outside his home in Istanbul. After this event, his books sold tens of thousands of copies in Turkey.