Most Turks consider EU migrant deal negative
AFP photoOver 50 percent of Turkish people regard the EU-Turkey migrant deal negatively, while some 21.7 percent said they thought the deal was a positive thing, according to a recent survey by Kadir Has University’s Turkey Research Center.
The survey named “Turkish Foreign Policy Public Opinion Research” has concluded that 57 percent of respondents believe that Turkey’s recent deal with the European Union for the readmission of Syrian refugees was not a good one. While 21.3 percent said they did not have an opinion about the deal, 21.7 percent said they supported it.
Under the controversial pact between the EU and Turkey to stop refugees crossing by boat to Greece, Turkey agreed to take back migrants who arrived in Greece after March 20. In return, Europe pledged that for every Syrian deported, it would accept one refugee from Turkey’s vast camps, a move it hopes will discourage people from taking the highly risky journey across the Aegean Sea.
Among those who do not approve the agreement, the majority has said they were worried about the increasing number of Syrians that are going to enter Turkey, as others have said they were concerned about the economic hardships that might be caused with their existence in the country and that the EU would not abide by the article.
In the survey, which was conducted with some 1,000 people from 26 provinces, those who approved the deal largely said it was a good agreement because Turkey would be provided with financial benefits, while other smaller groups said it would restrict illegal migration and improve the living conditions of Syrians.
Regarding Turkish people’s support for the EU membership process, some 61.8 percent said they backed Turkey’s membership in the EU – a rise of almost 20 points since 2015.
The study, however highlighted that a majority of people who believed that the country would never become an EU member had risen sharply from 47.6 to 66.7 percent in one year.
Another contentious issue that the survey touched upon was the Turkish public’s opinion on the Turkey’s action of downing a Russian jet on its border.
The study revealed that over half of the Turkish people supported Turkey’s downing of a Russian jet on Nov. 24 near the Syrian border.
Some 58.2 percent of respondents regard the act as a positive thing, while 41.8 percent said it was the wrong move, according to the “Turkish Foreign Policy Public Opinion Research” that was carried out by the university’s Turkey Research Center.
Some 57.6 percent of those who supported the move said that “it showed that Turkey was a big country,” while those who said “we should protect our borders” followed the former argument.
The majority of those who disapproved of the action said Turkey had behaved “disproportionately.” Some 27.3 percent said Turkey was not right in the action, while another 23.2 percent said Russia was a big country.
Two Turkish F-16’s shot down a Russian-made SU-24 jet on Nov. 24, 2015, near the Syrian border after it allegedly violated Turkish airspace.
Turkey’s move precipitated a severe deterioration in relations with Russia as Moscow imposed several economic sanctions on its erstwhile economic partner in the areas of tourism and agriculture.
On Turkey’s relation with the United States, the survey results showed that compared to 2015, more people have started to regard the latter as a threat. While some 35.3 percent had such an opinion last year, this percentage rose to 44.1 in 2016.