Public less concerned about terrorism, survey reveals

DAILY SABAH
ANKARA
Published

People in Turkey are comparatively less concerned about terrorism now, a survey has revealed.

Carried out by IPSOS Social Research Institute, the survey found that though concerns over terrorism have substantially decreased it still tops other issues, like economy and education.

The study interviewed 1,320 individuals between Nov. 24 and Dec. 13, where some 35 percent of the participants identified terrorism as Turkey's main problem, compared to almost 61 percent who did so in December 2016.

Around 23 percent of the participants considered economic issues to be Turkey's most significant problem while 12 percent thought it was education. A number of recent changes brought to Turkey's education system have likely fed the concerns.

Turkey's continuing fight against terrorism throughout 2017 has been considered as the underlying reason for the decrease in concerns over terrorism. Turkey has been facing threats from various terrorist groups including the outlawed PKK and Daesh. With operations in and outside the country, Turkey has shown that it was resolute in its fight against terrorist groups.

According to the Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research's (SETA) Terrorism Database, Turkey's counterterrorism operations, both at home and abroad, have neutralized at least 1,609 PKK militants between Jan. 1 and Nov. 12, 2017.

To eliminate terror threats, Turkey has also ramped up efforts to develop and improve its defense industry. Locally produced unmanned drones have played a significant role in these operations and have restricted terrorist movements substantially. Between Jan. 1 and Nov. 12, 79 PKK militants were killed in 19 drone strikes both inside and outside Turkey. The strikes were conducted in Turkey's southeast and the border areas in northern Iraq.The war in neighboring Syria has also posed new security threats for Turkey as the PKK's Syrian offshoot the Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its armed wing, the People's Protection Units (YPG) gained control of vast swathes of territory. Turkey has strongly opposed the existence of any terror group along its border and hinted at future operations to clear the area of terrorist presence.

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