On Eve of Elections, a More Upbeat Mood in Turkey

Jun 07, 2011

As Turks prepare for national elections on June 12, they are increasingly upbeat about the direction of their country. And at a time when publics around the world generally remain gloomy about their economies, Turks are becoming more positive. This bodes well for Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), whom most observers believe will win a decisive victory in the elections.

Under Erdogan’s leadership, Turkey has played a more assertive role in international affairs, and most Turks give the prime minister positive marks on foreign policy: 62% have confidence that he will do the right thing in world affairs. Moreover, Erdogan is also popular in neighboring Arab nations – most Egyptians, Jordanians, Lebanese, and Palestinians express confidence in the Turkish leader. In contrast, solid majorities in Israel, Germany, Spain, and France have little or no confidence in him.

These are among the key findings from a survey by the Pew Research Center’s Global Attitudes Project, conducted March 21 to April 26. The poll also finds that while Turks continue to favor joining the European Union, enthusiasm for EU ascension has waned in recent years. And there is no consensus about whether Turkey’s future lies more with Europe or the Middle East: 17% of Turks believe their country should look to Europe in the future; 25% say the Middle East; and 37% volunteer that both regions are equally important.

Read the full report On Eve of Elections, a More Upbeat Mood in Turkey on the Pew Global Attitudes Project's Web site.

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