A new opinion poll released by the Economic Development Foundation (İKV) indicates that 60 percent of Turks are supportive of Turkey’s bid to become a member of the European Union.
While support for EU accession remained high despite a declining trend, only 23 percent expressed the belief that Turkey’s membership would actually become a reality.
The geographical breakdown of results indicated that support for EU accession is highest in the country’s predominantly Kurdish Southeast.
In addition, support for membership was higher among women compared to men, and among people aged from 18 to 24 compared to other age groups.
The unemployed and students are more pro-EU than other professional categories, the survey said.
The most cited reason for support for EU accession was that it would be beneficial for the country’s prosperity and economic development.
Those who did not express support for membership insisted that the most suitable type of relationship with the EU is a continuation of the current free trade partnership under the customs union.
While Turkey’s EU bid gained fresh impetus at the beginning of the 2000s, it stalled due to a series of political disputes, most notably over Cyprus.
European institutions have criticized a serious decline in Turkey’s human rights record in the last few years, particularly with regard to the government’s response to a coup attempt in July 2016.
However, the two sides have maintained their partnership in trade and most recently in efforts to curb migration.