POLITICS >Erdoğan most favored leader in Mideast: poll


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Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is the most popular leader among six Muslim-majority countries, including Turkey, over a year after the Arab Spring, and a majority believes Turkey supports the spread of democracy in the region, according to a recent poll.

Erdoğan received a 65-percent approval rating, followed by Saudi King Abdullah, with a 58-percent approval rating, according to a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center in recent months in Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Tunisia and Pakistan.

Most of those surveyed, 64 percent on average, believe Turkey favors democracy in the Middle East, including roughly three out of every four people in the newly democratic nations of Egypt and Tunisia. Relatively few believe the U.S. wants democracy in the Middle East. In Turkey, about a third (34 percent) believe the Arab Spring will result in the spread of democracy in the region, while a similar percentage (37 percent) is doubtful. The first two Muslim-majority nations to overthrow a dictator still “desire” democracy, with some 67 percent of Egyptians and 63 percent of Tunisians saying “democracy is preferable,” the poll says. In the rest of the region, 84 percent of Lebanese and 71 percent of Turks say “democracy is preferable,” but Jordanians and Pakistanis are less enthusiastic, at 61 and 42 percent respectively.


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