Over 80 percent of Turks see US as a threat to Turkey: survey

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A total of 81.3 percent of Turks see the United States as a threat to Turkey, according to a recent survey conducted by Kadir Has University, indicating a significant increase of more than 20 percent over last year’s poll.

The survey, titled “Turkish Foreign Policy Public Perception Research 2019,” was conducted between May 27 and June 20 on 1,000 people from 26 provinces.

A full 70.8 percent of participants said Israel poses the most imminent threat to Turkey compared to 54.4 percent in 2018.

Nearly 70 percent of participants said Azerbaijan is the closest ally of the Turkish Republic.

Meanwhile 20.6 percent of Turks consider the relationship between Washington and Ankara as the most pressing problem of Turkish foreign policy.

Last year the Syrian civil war was regarded as the most significant problem by some 26 percent of respondents.

Sixty percent say the fight against terrorism is the major disagreement between Turkey and the US, referring to the US backing of a Kurdish militia in Syria, which is considered a terrorist group by Ankara.

Regarding Turkey’s Russian S-400 missile purchase, 44 percent of participants think Ankara should continue with the plan despite warnings from the US and NATO, while some 25 percent think otherwise.

The relationship between the two NATO allies has become strained due to Ankara’s Russian missile purchase, with the US threatening sanctions unless Turkey abandons the installation of the S-400s.

According to the survey, for 72.2 percent of Turks President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is the sole actor in determining Turkey’s foreign policy.

Meanwhile, Turks appear optimistic about Ankara’s European Union membership accession process as over 20 percent of participants said Turkey would be an EU member in five to 10 years.

Turkey has been a candidate for EU membership for decades, but the accession talks have stalled due to President Erdoğan’s increasing authoritarian grip on politics.

Also some 61 percent of participants support Turkey’s EU membership, with the backing falling to 58.5 percent among ruling party voters and increasing to 73.7 percent among main opposition party voters.

A full 60.8 percent of participants see NATO membership as a valuable asset.

The survey indicates that the participants were not convinced of the benefits of Turkey’s relationship with Russia as answers regarding collaboration with Moscow failed to exceed 50 percent.

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