Majority of Turks prefer strong relationship with Russia over the US

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PHOTO: Sputnik

Sixty-three percent of Turks were not in favor of an improved relationship with the United States, while 56 percent wanted a strong alliance with Russia, according to a survey conducted in late 2018 by a Turkish polling company.

The survey indicated that 51 percent still supported Turkey’s membership negotiations with the European Union, with 47 percent saying they wanted Turkey to become like a European country in terms of life standards.

The Konda polling company on Thursday published 75 polls conducted throughout 2018 along with an interactive website allowing readers to access the demographic details of the studies.

In April 2018, 64 percent of Turks saw no threat to the country due to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s foreign policy, which was considered by many experts to be “aggressive.”

In September 2018, 58 percent thought that Turkey should continue its NATO membership.

Overall, the study underlined that the older generation, the less-educated segments of society and conservatives in rural areas are the main supporters of Erdoğan’s politics.

For instance, 48 percent of Turks said they believed the Germans were envious of İstanbul’s new airport, a claim that repeatedly appeared in the pro-government media.

As the Turkish economy has been performing poorly, 66 percent of Turks in September 2018 said they feared their standard of living would decline, and only 26 percent said they were able to save.

Fifty-eight percent considered themselves to be lower middle class, while 30 percent said they were upper middle class, and only 11 percent thought they were in poverty.

Consistent with the growing anti-immigration sentiment among the Turkish public, 66 percent said in November 2018 that the Syrian refugees in the country had a higher standard of living than the Turks.

Forty-eight percent of the public in November 2018 revealed that they believed the world was run by five powerful, rich families living in the US, parroting a common conspiracy theory.

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