Russia becomes top threat for Turks, survey says

Turkey’s public opinion of external threats changes considerably following shootdown of Russian fighter jet by country on Nov. 24, according to latest survey

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Russian Sukhoi SU-24 aircraft goes down in Kizildag region of Turkey's Hatay province, close to the Syrian border, on Nov. 24, 2015.

Turkish people have begun to see Russia as the most menacing country among other countries in regard to potential threat attributions concerning Turkey, according to a new survey conducted by Istanbul-based Kadir Has University.

Turkey and Russia have been dealing with high-level political tension since the country shot down a Russian fighter jet over an airspace violation in northwestern Syria near the Turkish border on Nov. 24.

The university’s annual survey of social-political trends in Turkey was conducted in December with participation of 1,000 respondents.

According to the survey results released on Tuesday, 67.4 percent participants said the Russian Federation posed the most severe threat to Turkey.

Israel had been at the top of the list since 2011, however, this time Russia beat the Middle Eastern country, while the US and Syria also slid down.

The survey results have exhibited a considerable shift in terms of threat perceptions following the incident, which has strained ties between Turkey and Russia.

The survey also said that 78.5 percent participants approved Turkey’s downing of the Russian warplane in order to protect its own sovereignty.

Moreover, the survey has indicated that recent acts of terrorism against Turkey transformed its public perception concerning issues which were qualified as the most critical by Turkish citizens.

According to the survey, 39.3 percent people thought terrorism was the most important problem facing Turkey in 2015, while unemployment was seen as the second most important problem at 16.3 percent.

In the previous survey, only 13.9 percent participants said terrorism was a serious problem in 2014 in Turkey, while 33 percent thought that unemployment was the main issue.

PKK terror attacks have killed more than 200 security officials in Turkey since the group’s umbrella organisation, the KCK, unilaterally ended a two and a half year-long ceasefire with the government on July 11 and threatened Turkey with attacks.

DAESH has also launched several terror attacks against Turkey in 2015, killing more than 100 civilians.

TRTWorld, AA