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July 29, 2019 2:34 pm

Large Majority of Turks View US, Israel as ‘Biggest Threats,’ New Survey Shows

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Anti-Israel demonstrators at a protest at a July 2017 protest in Ankara. Photo: File.

The great majority of Turks see the US and Israel as the main threats to their country, a new survey of foreign policy attitudes among the Turkish public revealed on Monday.

The yearly survey conducted by Kadir Has University —  a private institution located in Istanbul — examined a number of questions, ranging from where respondents get their news from, to how they identify politically, and what they believe are the main foreign policy challenges facing Turkey.

Asked which countries posed the greatest threat to Turkey, more than 80 percent of the 1,000 respondents pointed to the US and Israel.

The US was “unreliable” according to 39.4 percent of the participants and a “colonialist country” for 22.6 percent. When asked to name the most important problem between Turkey and the US, 60.5 percent said “fight against terrorism” and 37.3 percent said “US support for the Democratic Union Party (PYD),” a Kurdish group in Syria which Turkey regards as a terrorist organization.

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdodgan frequently assails Israel with antisemitic language and tropes, while relations between Turkey and the US are presently under strain following Ankara’s purchase of S-400 missiles from Russia.

But according to the survey, a good number of Turks remain unsure as to what the S-400 is exactly.

“50.1 percent said it is some kind of missile and 7.1 percent said it is some kind of plane,” the survey noted. “37.4 percent said they had not heard about the S-400.”

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