US not seen as trust worthy by Turks, opposition to intervention in Iran
Iran-Turkey-USA, Politics, 3/27/2006
According to Turkish Daily News( TDN), the results of the latest survey carried out by USAK/ISRO reveals that Turks don't trust the US and are against an attack on Iran.
The survey has been conducted by the Ankara based International Strategic Research Organization (ISRO/USAK) among 2,500 respondents in Turkey's five biggest cities of Ankara, Istanbul, Zmir, Bursa, and Adana on March 7-17. USAK is also the publisher of the well known Journal of Turkish Weekly and Stratejik Gundem.
Turkey is the only Muslim country in the NATO and is a key US ally in the region, TDN said.
Recently, the discussions around a Turkish blockbuster named Valley of the Wolves Iraq were the latest low point in the Turkish - American relations. USAK's Director Sedat Laciner says this underscores the public image problem that the United States has in Turkey. The United States is blamed for almost everything that goes wrong in Iraq or the Middle East,
The survey exposes the Turks' disbelief with the US's commitment to end PKK terrorism. The overwhelming majority of the surveyors( 83% ) said that the US would not close the PKK bases in Iraq.
The survey also shows the Turkish people's disbelief in the American rhetoric of Bringing Freedom to Iraq. None of the respondents said the US is trying to bring freedom to Iraq or trying to end terrorism in the country. 80% of the Turks believe in clandestine motive behind Iraq's invasion is to control Iraqi oil.
Iran's nuclear program however, is the dubious issue according to the opinion poll. While 94% of the Turks are against any military intervention against Iran, only 45% of the respondents said they were against Iran's peaceful nuclear energy program.
USAK's Iran expert Arzu Celalifer construes the results as a median between Turkish mistrust against US adventurizm in the region and Turks' discomfort of having a nuclear power in the neighborhood.
The Journal of Turkish weekly commented that the Turkish public opinion is a key indicator for US's image in the region. From the American perspective Iraq war can be a distant war, but from the Turkish perspective everything is happening in a close distance. The fires America has torched in the Middle East may be a far away danger for the American public, but in the region, the civil war creating solutions of Bush policies are perceived by the people of the region as an imminent threat to instability.
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