Support for Turkish government's foreign policy continues to plummet: Poll
Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu (C) is seen with his deputy Naci Koru (L) and Undersecretary Feridun Sinirlioğlu. A recent survey has found that the approval rating of government’s foreign policy continues to decline.The approval rating for the government’s foreign policy has dropped further to 41 percent, according to a recent survey conducted by research organization MetroPOLL, as Turkey struggles to cope with the ongoing crises in neighboring Iraq and Syria.
The 41 percent figure is the lowest level since December 2011. The study conducted in June also revealed that support for the government’s Iraq and Syria policies has declined to 28 and 27 percent respectively. Among those who said they voted for the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), the figure was 30 percent.
The poll, titled “Türkiye’nin Nabzı” (Pulse of Turkey), was conducted among 2,268 people in 28 provinces. While 41 percent of respondents said the government’s foreign policy was successful, 51 percent said it was unsuccessful.
In 2011, 71 percent of respondents said it was successful, a rate that declined to 56 percent in 2012 and 44 percent in 2013.
In the same period, the perception that Turkey’s foreign policy had experienced a “setback” increased from 19 percent to 51 percent.
Some 58 percent said Turkey’s Iraq policy was unsuccessful, while 61 percent said its Syria policy was unsuccessful. Some 30 percent of AKP voters said Turkey’s Iraq policy was unsuccessful, while 33 percent of AKP voters said its Syria policy was unsuccessful.
Perceptions on ISIL
The MetroPOLL survey also found that Turks do not favor an “interventionist” foreign policy.
Some 25 percent of respondents said Turkey should get involved in developments in the Middle East like in Iraq and Syria, while a majority of 55 percent said Turkey should stay outside of conflicts. Fifty-one percent of AKP voters, 61 percent of Republican People’s Party (CHP), 56 percent of Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and 66 percent of Peace and Democracy (HDP) voters said Turkey should stay outside developments in the Middle East.
The study also shed light on Turks’ perception of the militant jihadist organization Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). Seventy-one percent described ISIL as a terrorist organization and 51 percent said the jihadist group has also organized in Turkey.
Twenty-six percent said ISIL does not have an organization in Turkey. In addition, 49 percent of respondents said militant organizations like al-Qaeda, the al-Nusra Front and ISIL could stage terrorist attacks in Turkey.