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Majority of Turks Negative Toward U.S. Leadership

Majority of Turks Negative Toward U.S. Leadership

Most think the U.S. is hostile toward their country

by Magali Rheault

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Thousands of Turks have taken to the streets to condemn an attack by Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) rebels that killed 12 Turkish soldiers. Many Turks feel the United States and Iraq should do more to help quell the PKK terror threat. Results from a Gallup Poll conducted earlier this year find a majority of Turks have negative feelings toward U.S. leadership. Roughly 6 in 10 Turks dislike President George W. Bush and about two-thirds disapprove of U.S. leadership and think the United States is hostile toward their country. Only 16% approve of U.S. leadership.

Even before Sunday’s ambush, funerals of soldiers killed by the Kurdish separatist group often turned into large nationalist rallies. Although Ankara is pursuing diplomatic efforts to restrain the Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq, the Turkish parliament voted to authorize military action and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan Tuesday said “we cannot wait forever” for Iraq to deliver on its promises to control the rebels. Turkey’s alliance with the United States is crucial to the United States’ ability to maintain stability in a troubled neighborhood.

Survey Methods

Results are based on face-to-face interviews with 1,001 adults in Turkey, aged 15 and older, in May 2007. For results based on the total sample of national adults, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ±3 percentage points. In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls.

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