Nearly 90 percent of Turkish citizens support cross-border military operation in Syria: Survey
“[The Turkish public] supports these kinds of [cross-border military] operations to clear the problem of terrorism,” said A&G founder Adil Gür, evaluating the survey results on Feb. 12 in an interview with daily Sabah.
The survey was conducted by A&G with a total of 3,225 households in 42 Turkish provinces.
Government officials have repeatedly said since the launch of “Operation Olive Branch” on Jan. 20 that it is “not an invasion” and only aims to remove the People’s Protection Units (YPG) from across Turkey’s southern border.
“Some 54 percent said the operation is against the YPG, 20.2 percent said it is being carried out against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party [PKK] and over 5 percent said the operation is against the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant [ISIL],” Gür said.
“They see no difference between the YPG and the PKK,” he added.
The PKK is recognized as a terrorist group by the U.S. but Washington denies any links between the PKK and the YPG. It has formed the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), made up heavily by militants of the YPG, in the campaign against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
Some 84 percent of survey respondents said they view the PKK and the YPG groups as offshoots of one another and only 14.6 percent denied that possibility.
Ethnically Kurdish Turkish citizens mostly see the PKK and the YPG as linked, with more than 58 percent of Kurdish citizens in Turkey saying the YPG is an offshoot of the PKK, according to the survey.
Some 88 percent of all participants said they perceive the YPG as a threat to the country. Over 63 percent of Turkey’s Kurds also agreed that the group poses a threat to the country.
The number went up to 97 percent when the survey results focused on ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) voters and to over 83 percent when the results focused on main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) voters.
The survey also showed that Turkish citizens are relatively united under the topic of national security.
When asked the question of why the U.S. supports Kurdish forces in Syria, 43.6 percent responded that the U.S. “had its own interests.”
Nearly 80 percent of all respondents said they “do not believe the U.S. is a friend or ally of the Kurds.”
When the survey results focused on ethnically-Kurdish respondents, the number of the latter reportedly rose to 82.8 percent.