Domestic security not a concern for Turks, reveals poll

Domestic security not a concern for Turks, reveals poll

One of the findings of the poll conducted by Kadir Has University’s Center for Energy and Sustainable Development was about the Turkish public’s view on Turkey’s most important problems.

Conducted for the third consecutive year, the poll aims to determine the public’s energy preferences. In addition to the question “what is the most important problem of Turkey’s energy system,” the participants are also asked to answer the question “what is Turkey’s most important problem.”

With 33 percent, economy tops the list of Turkey’s most important problem for 2018. Then comes education with 16 percent.

Interestingly only three percent of the respondents said “internal security” is the most important problem. In 2016, “internal security” ranked second (with 22 percent) on the list, coming after education (with 27 percent.)

This is only natural since 2016 has seen not only deadly terror attacks but also a deadly coup attempt that shocked the nation. In 2017 economy followed by education topped the list, while with 6 percent “internal security,” went way below the list. This year it is also in the lower end of the list  coming after democracy, environment refugees, foreign security and unemployment.

How should one interpret this; especially in a country where there are at least dozens of detentions every two days? Are we to assume people feel “internal security” is not a big problem precisely because they think security forces are successful in handling “internal security” problems and see these detentions as a proof? Or perhaps they are still concerned about internal security issues but they have other overriding concerns like bread and butter issues that render internal security problems look minor in comparison.

At any rate almost not a day goes by without waking up to a morning where a security operation had started by dawn against Fetullahist Terror Organization, illegal PKK or Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) suspects.

Only yesterday, March 20 news outlets announced under the “breaking news,” banners, a FETÖ operation in 13 cities with dozens detentions.

Actually one could expect news about these non stop operations and continuous detention waves to keep the nation alert to “domestic threats.” They could serve to keep the society under constant fear. It seems it creates a contrary effect. Or perhaps; it has become the new normal; people don’t really care.

But if so; then some of the politicians are endorsing the wrong strategy while campaigning for local elections. The people’s alliance for instance keeps saying that local elections have turned into an election for the survival of the country.

When economic problems remain the overriding concern of the voters, and resources have been depleted to alleviate these problems in the short run, shifting focus towards other issues is a tactic resorted by politicians all over the world.

But then how are we going to read the election results on March 31. More importantly how the governing People’s Alliance and the opposition Nation’s Alliance will analyze the results? If the results were to satisfy the governing People’s Alliance, will they conclude that economy is not that important and that the nation is concerned about the country’s survival? How would they explain it they were to loose in big cities. How about the opposition? If they were to be disappointed with the results; doing worse than expected? Would they say, “ıt seems economic problems have not yet hurt the nation to the point of changing their votes.” Or would they say, “we failed yet again to convince that we could do better.”

These conclusions will be important as they will shape policies for the next four years until the next elections.

Barçın Yinanç, Turkey, Polls, energy policy, energy prices