12/03/2009 - The Obama administration has exerted a considerable amount of diplomatic energy on Turkey: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited there in March, the president himself followed in April and next week Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will call on the White House. Nonetheless, the administration continues to face serious challenges in this strategically important nation. While overall ratings for the U.S. have improved throughout much of the world, in Turkey they remain dismal—only 14% of Turks expressed a positive view of the U.S. in the spring 2009 Pew Global Attitudes survey, the lowest rating among the 25 nations included in the poll.
Still, there are modest signs of a potential for improvement. While just one-third of Turks have confidence that President Obama will do the right thing in world affairs, this is a significant increase from 2008, when only 2% voiced confidence in then-President Bush. And while most Turks continue to oppose U.S.-led anti-terrorism efforts and most still believe the U.S. could be a military threat to their country some day, these views are less common than they were in the waning years of the Bush administration.
As the survey reveals, the U.S. is not the only major power receiving negative reviews in Turkey—China, Russia and the European Union also get poor ratings.
Read the full commentary Negative Views of U.S. Unchanged in Turkey on the Pew Research Center's Web site.