Turks Downbeat About Their Institutions

  • September 07, 2010

As Turks debate an upcoming referendum that would modify the country's constitution, a recent Pew Global Attitudes survey reveals how much confidence in Turkish institutions has slipped over the last few years.

The referendum, which is backed by the ruling religiously-oriented Justice and Development Party (AKP) and opposed by more secular opposition groups, includes provisions regarding the judiciary, as well as measures that would increase civilian control of the military.  Throughout the country's history, the military has a played a major role in Turkish politics, and it continues to be a popular institution: 72% say it is having a very or somewhat good influence on the way things are going in Turkey.  However, this is down from 85% in 2007.  And the number of Turks who believe the military is having a very good impact has declined from 57% to 30% over this period.  Confidence in the military has dropped most steeply among the nation's Kurdish population – just 37% of Kurds give the military a positive rating, compared with 64% in the 2007 poll.

Among the institutions and leaders tested on the poll, which was conducted April 12-30, the police receive the second highest ratings, with 68% of Turks saying the police are having a good influence on the way things are going.  The police receive especially favorable ratings from AKP supporters (84% good).  Relatively few Kurds (39% good) offer a positive assessment.

Read the full report, Turks Downbeat About Their Institutions on the Pew Research Center's Global Attitudes Project Web site.