61 percent of Turks do not read books: Survey

61 percent of Turks do not read books: Survey

61 percent of Turks do not read books: Survey

The number of Turks who “do not read books at all” increased by 8.1 percentage points, reaching 60.9 percent, a recent poll made public on Jan. 30 showed.

Those reading “one day in a month or less” increased by 4.1 percentage points to reach 15.3 percent, said the poll conducted by Istanbul’s Kadir Has University, which carries out such surveys each year.

However, the number of books read in a year accrued by 0.4 percentage points and increased from 5.4 percent to 5.8 percent, said the survey conducted between Dec. 12, 2018 and Jan. 4 2019 through face-to-face interviews with 1,000 respondents.

The participants of the survey represent Turkey’s population aged 18 and over residing in the city centers of 26 cities, who answered questions on politics, economic developments, social relations and international issues.

When the respondents were asked how often they read newspapers, 57.5 percent of them said they do not read newspapers. In addition, the frequency of reading a newspaper also declined compared to 2017, reaching only 2.9 days in a week on average.

Some 81.4 percent of the respondents said they never go to the theater. The frequency of those going to the theater in a month also decreased from last year’s 1.3 days to 0.9 days. The number of those “who do not go to the cinema at all” decreased from 37.6 to 35.3 percent, and the frequency of going to the cinema decreased from 1.5 days to 0.9 days in a month.

When asked “Which events do you participate in apart from theater and cinema?” and “How many times in a year?”, “football game” was the top answer, with 19 percent of the respondents saying they attended a football game 7.1 times on average a year. “Football” was followed by “pop music concert,” “other sports competitions,” “exhibitions,” and “Turkish classical music or folk music concerts” with decreasing frequencies and percentages compared to last year’s results.

In comparison with the last year, “the daily average time spent watching TV” increased by 0.6 hours and found as 3.5 hours per day on average. According to the survey results, 94.3 percent of Turkish society watches TV.

According to the survey results, Turkish people regard unemployment, the high cost of living and the depreciation of the Turkish Lira as the most significant problems facing the country. While terrorism seen as a problem has decreased among the public, FETÖ, which is believed to have perpetrated the July 2016 coup attempt, is still seen as a serious threat.

“We measure public opinion objectively. We saw unemployment as the most important problem this year with 27 percent, while it was seen as the third most important problem in 2017 with 17 percent,” said Prof. Sondan Durukanoğlu Feyiz, the rector of Kadir Has University, while unveiling the survey results.

Turkey’s “Euphrates Shield” and “Olive Branch” operations were found to be successful by the participants although support for the country’s cross-border military actions fell from 56.4 percent to 45.1. There was a 4 percent decrease for those who found the government’s Syria policies “successful” in comparison to the figures of 2017.

When asked “Are you happy to live in Turkey?”, 38.8 percent of the respondents said they are happy, while 19.8 percent responded they were unhappy. When the results were analyzed according to political party voters, those who are happiest to live in Turkey are the voters of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).

According to the survey results, 20 percent of the population would prefer to live abroad if they could. The main reason for this preference is the “economy,” the respondents said. When the results were analyzed in accordance with the voters again, the first group of “those who’d prefer to live abroad” consists of voters of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), which has seen many of its lawmakers arrested, tried or stripped of their parliamentary immunity, with 33 percent.

According to the survey results, gay people are the least preferred group as neighbors, with 53.8 percent saying they did not want to have members of the LGBTQI community as their neighbors. Some 45.8 percent also said they did not want to have “asylum seekers/refugees” as their neighbors. Some 57.4 percent of the respondents said they mostly preferred neighbors who are “Turks” and 48.6 percent said they’d rather have “Sunnis” as their neighbors.