Turkish people support purchase of S-400 missiles from Russia

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published 05.07.2019 00:07

Turkish people back the government in the purchase of S-400 missiles from Russia. A survey revealed Thursday that 44 percent of participants expressed their support, saying that the missiles "should be purchased."

Kadir Has University released the results of its annual public perception survey of Turkish foreign policy for 2019 yesterday. The survey of 1,000 people from 26 provinces above the age of 18 asked questions regarding recent significant developments in Turkey's foreign policy to find the perspective of the people on these issues.

According to the results, 44 percent think that the S-400 missiles should be purchased despite the threat of sanctions from the U.S., which is a point that was specified within the respective question. Approximately 26.1 percent of participants indicated that there is a "strategic partnership" between Turkey and Russia. How

ever, it was also revealed that the Turkish public, 20.6 percent, see ties with U.S. as the biggest problem with the country's foreign policy. The cross-border terrorist threats, on the other hand, came as the second biggest issue with 18.3 percent.

The U.S. is still regarded as the biggest threat to Turkey according to 82.3 percent, a remarkable increase from 60.2 percent last year. When asked how they regard relations between the U.S. and Turkey, 39.4 percent responded that the U.S. is an "unreliable" country. When it comes to the biggest problem between the U.S. and Turkey, 60.5 percent said the fight against terrorism, followed by 37.3 percent saying the support of the U.S. to the PKK's Syrian affiliate, the People's Protection Units (YPG). The second biggest threat, on the other hand, was Israel, again with 70.8 percent.

Some 65.3 percent said the closest friend of the country was Azerbaijan, followed by Turkish Cypriots. Still, despite all these criticisms and concerns regarding the U.S., the survey shows that 60.8 percent of Turkish people support their country's membership in NATO. Another 50.3 percent indicated that this membership benefits Turkey, while 69.6 percent said that in a possible security threat, NATO membership would be helpful.

Some 61.1 percent indicated their support for Turkey's EU membership, compared to 55.1 percent last year. Another 20.3 percent said that in their opinion, Turkey would be a member of the EU in five to 10 years. Approximately 30.3 percent still think that there are some unresolved problems between Turkey and Greece, while the biggest problem between the two according to 53.8 percent of the participants is the arming of Aegean islands. The Cyprus issue, on the other hand, was regarded as a problem by only 5 percent of the participants.

A total 42.1 percent of the participants also indicated that the policy that Turkey should take on Syria must be as impartial as possible.

As the main decisive actor in the country's foreign policy, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan comes to forefront with 72.2 percent agreeing. However, when it comes to the institutions' effect on diplomacy, the Foreign Ministry was the main response at 62.9 percent, leaving the presidency behind.

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