Istanbul
An aerial view of the Sultan Ahmed Mosque in the Old City of Istanbul, TurkeyGetty

Thousands of Turkish students are demanding that their universities build Jedi and Buddhist temples following a surge of mosques being built on campuses for Muslims students.

Plans to build mosques started in March 2015 after the rector of Istanbul Technical University (İTÜ), Mehmet Karaca, announced that a "landmark mosque" was going to be constructed on the campus, Hurriyet Daily reported.

Karaca said the decision was made in response to "huge demand" and after thousands of students had signed an online petition demanding the construction of the mosque to allow people " to practice their religion freely".

Following İTÜ's decision, other universities started building mosques, prompting thousands of students to sign online petitions demanding the construction of temples.

Some 20,000 students at İTÜ are demanding Buddhist temples. Others from the Dokuz Eylül University have asked for a Jedi temple, referring to the fictional spiritual organisation in the American film series Star Wars.

It is not clear whether this request was made as a provocation following the student protest.

"To recruit new Jedi and to bring balance to the Force, we want a Jedi temple," said the petition that was signed by more than 5,000 people.

Last year, the Turkish government announced that mosques were being built on campuses at more than 80 universities.

Critics of the government saw this move as a way to pursue a religion-based agenda in the Muslim-majority country, with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan being accused of trying to replace secularism values with Islamist ones.

Hurriyet said that so far, the government has not announced any plans to fulfil the needs of students from other sects and religions.

Turkey is currently facing backlash on wide-scale social media censorship following the publication of an image of a Turkish prosecutor, Mehmet Selim Kiraz, being held as a hostage and who was later killed.