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Turkish public believes Turkey has no friends - but Turks

Pakistani Fighter

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Turkish public believes Turkey has no friends - but Turks

New study indicates that historical grievances and nationalist policies are making Turkey's population feel ever more isolated


By Ragip Soylu in Ankara

For decades, the Turkish state had a strictly nationalist curriculum in its schools, drilling the idea into pupils' minds that Turks have - almost always - been alone when facing an existential crisis in the international arena.
Teachers taught their students a saying that was believed to summarise the idea: “Turks don’t have friends besides other Turks.”
Though the teaching of such a message has been far less robust in recent years, analysts have still observed a similar trend in education.
Now, it appears, the message that Turkey can only rely on its Turkic neighbours and partners has lost its power - with the majority of Turkish citizens now thinking they stand almost completely alone.
According to an annual poll conducted among 1,000 people in December by Istanbul-based Kadir Has University, just one country fits the majority of the public’s definition of a friend or ally: Azerbaijan, a Turkic country that 56.5 of respondents saw favourably.
Second place was taken by the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, an independent state only recognised by Ankara, with 43.1 percent support. Northern Cyprus saw a 16-percent drop in its approval ratings from last year, largely due to recent policy clashes with Ankara.
The poll also suggests the majority of Turkish citizens believe the remaining countries - including Georgia, Qatar, Russia, Ukraine, Germany, the United States, India and China - are not Turkey’s friends.

Lessons from history

Analysts believe the results aren’t surprising at all, considering the government's nationalist policies over recent decades and Turkey’s increasing military engagement in the region that put Ankara at odds with many neighbours.
Ferhat Kentel, a sociology professor at Istanbul Sehir University, told Middle East Eye that two events largely lie behind this trend: the fall of the Ottoman empire and the Sevres Treaty that followed it, which if enforced would have seen Turkey cede large chunks of Anatolia.
Former colonial powers are always high in the threat list: 64.5 percent of Turkish citizens perceive the US as a threat, 49 percent for the UK and France, while 55.6 percent feel the same about Israel.
Last month, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Ankara’s maritime delimitation deal with the Libyan government had reversed the Sevres Treaty by upending the regional order, a confirmation that memories from the late Ottoman era are still relevant in daily politics.
“The state taught citizens that we have been all alone since the independence war,” Kentel said, referring to the conflict that founded modern Turkey after the First World War.

'Yes, the majority doesn’t like anyone. But no one should ignore the millions of people with different ethnic, cultural and social backgrounds that do perceive other countries as allies'
- Murat Guvenc, study author

“However, now you have the ruling AKP in the last few years also working with nationalist leaders, like Devlet Bahceli and Dogu Perincek, who also assert that Turkey is alone.
"The public is also looking for international organisations or other countries to lean on. And they cannot find anyone else either.”
Others say the Turkish government’s involvement in Libya and Syria's civil wars, and Turkish military presence in Somalia, Qatar, Afghanistan and Bosnia, might have an impact on society as a whole.
Murat Guvenc, a professor at Kadir Has University, one of the study's authors, said that Turkey’s recent Operation Peace Spring in northeastern Syria against Kurdish forces was a good example of how foreign adventures can affect public consciousness.
“You saw both Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Donald Trump trying to stop the operation. Trump was threatening Ankara with economic sanctions,” he told MEE. "It makes people feel that everyone is against them. I see a similar trend among the most educated, western and secular groups.”
However, Guvenc also pointed out that the results must be examined carefully.
“Yes, the majority doesn’t like anyone. But no one should ignore the millions of people with different ethnic, cultural and social backgrounds that do perceive other countries as allies," he said.
"And there is no monolithic group as Turks.”
On the other hand, Turkish feelings about other countries might be mutual.
For example, 44.4 percent of Turkish citizens believe Germany is a threat to them. And a poll done last year by YouGov indicates that the majority of Germans, 58 percent, believe Turkey should be expelled from Nato over Operation Peace Spring. Only 18 percent were against the idea.
“No one sees Turks as allies. And Turks know that,” Kentel said.
“This is also an international trend: everyone is inclined to go it alone. You have right-wing strongmen as heads of states around the world, which pumps up nationalism."

https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/turkish-public-believes-turkey-has-no-friends-but-turks poll-says

Honestly, it is a sad read... Turkish example is of a man who tried to please everyone. They made a modern secular state, changed their clothes, changed their language, alphabet, ideals, joined NATO, tried(ing?) joining EU and let Islam go...
After a century of this experiment they stand alone or at least they feel they do... In this everyone maligned them... Arab nationalism and Western Europe... both for their history and their contemporary needs/demands/aspirations.
And Pakistan???
 

A.P. Richelieu

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I was just telling the truth and I don't have that delusion, we keep very levelled and balanced relations with all countries.
That is probably why Sweden is considering telling the Chinese Ambassador to get the hell out of Sweden - not.
The government has called up the ambassador to have him explain his repeated unacceptable behaviour.
China should replace him.
 

beijingwalker

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That is probably why Sweden is considering telling the Chinese Ambassador to get the hell out of Sweden - not.
The government has called up the ambassador to have him explain his repeated unacceptable behaviour.
China should replace him.
China also summoned Swedish ambassador too, but really? they kicked out Chinese ambassador? when will he leave Sweden?
 

TNT

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As far as i have observed, Turkey has always stood for the good. Forfet tje past where they tried their best to appease west, now Turkey stands on its feet.
Turkish stance in syria is/was a righteous one. Bashaul asad killed his own citizens and it was only Turkey that stood by those poor ppl, no ome else in the world, muslims or not, arabs or non arabs, no ome cared abt those ppl except Turkey.
Turkey took millions of refugees, costing billions, and yet again faced criticism from Europe for not curtailing migrants, while other rich muslim countries disnt care for syrians.
In libya, Turkey is siding with the internationally recognized govt. A democratic setup as opposed to a dictator that went to some countries and sold them his self for support. How can this dictator be any good when he is already indebted and a mere pawn of other countries??
In case qatar, when a small country was bullied by bigger ones, turks stood for the smaller country and made sure they r not over run. From Azerbaijan karabakh to kashmir, the Turks have taken a righteous stand. I say if being righteous in today's world gets u isolated, then let it be.
 

A.P. Richelieu

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China also summoned Swedish ambassador too, but really? they kicked out Chinese ambassador? when will he leave Sweden?
The thing is beeing considered.
He has repeatedly trying to attack free speech in Sweden.
China on the other hand is calling up the Swedish Ambassador to complain that Sweden has free speech.
So much for a ”levelled and balanced” relation.
China is simply acting like a schoolyard bully.
 

beijingwalker

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The thing is beeing considered.
He has repeatedly trying to attack free speech in Sweden.
China on the other hand is calling up the Swedish Ambassador to complain that Sweden has free speech.
So much for a ”levelled and balanced” relation.
China is simply acting like a schoolyard bully.
Sweden also summoned Russian ambassador recently, you seems to have a habit of summoning ambassadors, Chinese ambassador can only get a award for this incident, no one can make him leave his post, wanna bet?
 

masterchief_mirza

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You have a fixation on Turkey's NATO membership and that's what is clouding your judgment. You are misreading the outcome of this survey.

Religious, secular or nationalist - it doesn't matter, none of us really believes that our alliance with the West is irrevocable. At the same time, we don't believe in any alliances within the Muslim world. In a way, Turks are very realistic about their position in the world.

This is neither sad nor bad; it is what makes us different from Arabs and Persians.
Excellent comment.

Pakistan remains a steadfast friend of Turkey btw.
 

A.P. Richelieu

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Sweden also summoned Russian ambassador recently, you seems to have a habit of summoning ambassadors, Chinese ambassador can only get a award for this incident, no one can make him leave his post, wanna bet?
The Russian ambassador was called to the foreign department due to the unsafe behaviour of a Russian aircraft over international waters.
That is normal behaviour when foreign powers are out of line.

Sweden has the final say on if there should be an Chinese ambassador to Sweden at all, and
we reserve the right to reject any choice China makes.
China can choose not to have an ambassador in Sweden, that is all.
 
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Azerbaijan and Northern Cyprus is there. Probably South Korea and Pakistan are there too, lower though.

I will cast my right doubt on this survey for many reasons.

China in at and liked by 16%.
Saudi Arabia at 18%.

These should be practically 0%.

Iran is liked by 21% but then also considered in top threats at 47% which I don't understand how.

Iraq, Syria, I can get because of crisis there. Russian Federation, US, Israel, typical. But I do not understand why 50% consider Iran a threat, and why France, Germany and UK are so high on the list. Weird stuff.

From a survey taken in Azerbaijan, about 87% of Azerbaijani people considered Turkey as an allied state.
The reason for this discrepancy is how the question has been posed...

One is who are Turkey's Friends? And the other is, Which countries pose threat to Turkey?
Which I think people process differently instead an out right enemy, who poses threat...
 
Nov 18, 2014
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As far as i have observed, Turkey has always stood for the good. Forfet tje past where they tried their best to appease west, now Turkey stands on its feet.
Turkish stance in syria is/was a righteous one. Bashaul asad killed his own citizens and it was only Turkey that stood by those poor ppl, no ome else in the world, muslims or not, arabs or non arabs, no ome cared abt those ppl except Turkey.
Turkey took millions of refugees, costing billions, and yet again faced criticism from Europe for not curtailing migrants, while other rich muslim countries disnt care for syrians.
In libya, Turkey is siding with the internationally recognized govt. A democratic setup as opposed to a dictator that went to some countries and sold them his self for support. How can this dictator be any good when he is already indebted and a mere pawn of other countries??
In case qatar, when a small country was bullied by bigger ones, turks stood for the smaller country and made sure they r not over run. From Azerbaijan karabakh to kashmir, the Turks have taken a righteous stand. I say if being righteous in today's world gets u isolated, then let it be.
Credit where it is due... Turks have where ever they can punched above their weight to do the right thing... Yet, they are the villains... everyone around them have vindictiveness from the Ottoman times, real or perceived.
 

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