Turkey’s Popularity Slips in Mideast
Turkey’s standing in the Arab world and Iran has dropped noticeably over the past year according to a new poll by the Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV). In 2011, 78 percent of the 2,800 respondents had a positive view of Turkey. In 2012, it dropped to 69 percent. “Most of the participants think Turkey is the strongest political power in the region. They consider Saudi Arabia the strongest economic power and Iran the strongest military power,” said TESEV Foreign Policy Chairman Mensur Akgun at an Istanbul press conference.
Respondents are also less enthusiastic about the Arab uprisings. Positive views of the uprisings (change word) have dropped from 60 percent to 47 percent since 2011. TESEV concluded, “52 percent of the participants said they are hopeful for the future of the region, however this number was 62 percent last year.”
The Syrian crisis now particularly divides public opinion. Only 28 percent of respondents said President Bashar Assad is likely to fall. The majority approved Turkey’s response to the violence in Syria. Some 82 percent of Libyan respondents supported Ankara’s actions. Arab countries with majority-Sunni populations were generally supportive of Turkey. But 69 percent of Syrian and 60 percent of Iranian respondents viewed Turkey’s response negatively. Iraq is split on the issue. The following graph’s text is a translation from the original. TESEV and Friedrich Ebert Stiftung surveyed 15 Arab countries and Iran in August 2012. Results released on November 1
Click here for the full results (Turkish).