Turks, Kurds believe in coexistence, says survey

Turks, Kurds believe in coexistence, says survey

ISTANBUL- Hürriyet Daily News
Turks, Kurds believe in coexistence, says survey

There is a perception in Turkey that Kurds are seeking partititon, but this poll shows that is not the case, says Atilla Sandıklı, the head of BİLGESAM.

Turks and Kurds believe in a common future on the same land, a survey conducted by the Istanbul - based BİLGESAM (Wise Men Center for Strategic Studies) asserts said.

Some 90 percent of Kurds and 70 percent of Turks surveyed said the two communities should live together in peace in a united Turkey. However, only 10 percent of Turks and 11 percent of Kurds said they would enjoy living with each other in the same building.

More than 2,900 participants from all parts of Turkey were questioned over the Internet between Aug. 23 and 26, with their ethnic and religious identities taken into consideration, Atilla Sandıklı the head of BİLGESAM said in a press meeting yesterday.

The survey also revealed that some 97 percent of Turks and 94 percent of Kurds feel the Turkish flag represents them, while 97 percent of Turks and 91 percent of Kurds said Turkey’s national anthem was their national figure.

“There was a perception in Turkey that Kurds were seeking ways for segregation, but this poll showed that is not true,” Sandıklı said.

Sandıklı also said “the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party’s (PKK) strategy was to provoke Turkish nationalists to attack Kurds.”

He said the PKK was expecting Kurds to back them after the Turkish nationalists’ reaction. According to the survey both Kurds and Turks consider the PKK to be an internationally backed organization.

Surprisingly, 83 percent of Turks and 61.1 percent of Kurds support arrests conducted within the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) case, which has drawn a fierce reaction in Turkey.

However Sandıklı said the participants’ education level was relatively higher than Turkey’s average, claiming this meant the results could then illustrate the “educated face of Turkey.”