Terrorism growing concern, poll shows

Terrorism growing concern, poll shows

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Terrorism growing concern, poll shows

The survey revealed that 20 percent of the participants described themselves as conservative, while another 20 says they define themselves as republican/Kemalists. DAILY NEWS photo, Hasan ALTINIŞIK

Terrorism is seen by Turks as an increasing problem, while more than half the country thinks Turkey should not negotiate with any Kurdish representatives to solve the Kurdish problem, according to a recent academic survey.

Kadir Has University’s Social-Political Tendencies survey, which was conducted in 26 provinces among 1,000 respondents, studied a number of issues, such as political and ethnic identities, the economy, foreign policy and terrorism.

Some 28.8 percent of respondents thought Turkey’s major problem was terror, and 44.2 percent said it should be solved through military methods. Some 51.8 percent also said the government should not negotiate with any Kurdish groups, such as the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) or the PKK’s jailed leader, Abdullah Öcalan.

The survey also showed that more than 80 percent of participants thought the BDP was not independent of the PKK. More than 62 percent of the participants also answered “yes” when asked whether they thought Kurdish people living in Turkey wanted to establish an independent state.
“The survey shows that Turkish society is totally polarized on the most critical matters such as the Kurdish issue. The government’s policies shape society’s perspective on politics. We also saw that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has a serious effect on his party and voters. While 36.5 percent say the AKP [Justice and Development Party] is successful, the percentage of those who find Erdoğan successful rises to 45,” Mustafa Aydın, rector of Istanbul’s Kadir Has University, told a press conference yesterday to release the results.

Unemployment was also considered to be crucial, the report indicated, although the number of people who thought economic problems were Turkey’s most important dropped by 10 percent compared to 2010. Some 33 percent of respondents said they were unable to get by on their incomes.

When it comes to the government’s economic policies, the survey showed that while 40.7 percent said they found them unsuccessful, 34.5 percent said the opposite.

“The poorest and the richest 20 percent of society are in favor of the government’s economic policies. This shows that the middle class is against the AKP,” said Aydın.

Political and Ethnic Identity

The survey also revealed that 20 percent of the participants described themselves as conservative, which is 5 percent more compared with last year.

Meanwhile, the number of “republicans” has dropped by 6 percent to 20 percent. Another 20 percent describe themselves as “nationalist.”

When it comes to ethnic identities, some 67.7 percent said they were Turkish, while 9.2 percent described themselves as Kurdish.

Foreign policy

Another chapter in the survey is about Turkey’s foreign policy. While 28 percent said they believed Turkey’s foreign policy was successful, 21 percent said it was unsuccessful.

When it comes to relations with the European Union, 54 percent said they were supportive of Turkey’s membership in the bloc, while 45 percent said they did not support it.

The military was ranked as the most trustworthy institution by 63.2 percent, with the police and the president following. However, people believed the military had lost its influence compared with the previous year, according to the report.

“Nongovernmental organizations, the Parliament, the political parties and the media are seen as unreliable. This is devastating for a democratic country,” said Hasan Bülent Kahraman, Kadir Has’ vice rector.

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