7 Ocak 2011 Cuma

Turks see US as biggest external threat, poll results show

Sevil KÜÇÜKKOŞUM   Hurriyet Daily News and Economic Review

Some 43 percent of Turks perceive the United States as the country’s biggest threat, followed by Israel, according to a broad survey carried out in December.

“This the highest ratio ever on the external threat question among our surveys,” Professor Özer Sencar, chairman of Ankara-based MetroPOLL Strategic and Social Research Center, told the Hürriyet Daily News & Economic Review on Wednesday.

“The U.S. foreign politics since the Iraqi invasion, the hood incident [the U.S. detention of Turkish soldiers during the Iraq war], the war in Afghanistan, repeated Armenian bills in the U.S. Congress and the negative statements that Turkish leaders make about the U.S. and Israel play a major role in this perception,” Sencar said.

The Ankara-based MetroPOLL survey company, which is affiliated with the ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP, surveyed 1,504 people in 31 provinces in December.

The survey asked “From which country does the biggest threat come?” with 43 percent of Turks saying the U.S., followed by 24 percent who indicated Israel, 3 percent for Iran, 2.3 percent for Greece, 2.1 for Iraq, 1.7 for Russia and 1 percent for Armenia. Some 1.3 of participants said no country posed a threat to Turkey, while 18.9 said they had no idea.

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