The results of Image of Turkey 2012 Annual Survey covering 16 countries of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) were announced to the general public in a press conference held by TESEV on the 1st of November 2012.
‘Image of Turkey Survey’ is an annual and regional public opinion survey; developed and conducted by KA Research Limited (KA) and Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation’s (TESEV) Foreign Policy Program. The survey program has been started in 2009; and repeated every year in MENA region. 2012 survey, the fourth wave of the survey program, was conducted in 16 countries of MENA Region covering Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Tunisia, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, UAE, Yemen and Libya; between 03-28 August, 2012; with a total sample size of 2,800 individuals.
Below are some of the highlights from the survey results:
- 52% of survey participants feel more positive about the future of the region than they did 12 months ago – a decline on last year’s finding (62%). Compared to 60% a year ago, only 47% think the Arab Spring has had a positive impact on the region this year.
- 46% of respondents think that Israel is the biggest threat to the Middle East, followed by the US in second place with 21%. Iran is third with 11%.
- Support for an Iranian nuclear weapons programme continues at the same level as last year (37%) among the 16 countries. When looking at responses from Iran on their own, support has increased to 51%.
- 69% of respondents had a positive view of Turkey in 2012 making it the most popular but this is a drop on last year’s results when 78% had a favourable opinion of Turkey. This year, Turkey is followed by Egypt (65%) and the UAE (62%).
- 64% of respondents think Turkey should play a bigger role in the region. Although this is down from last year, respondents from all countries but Syria support Turkey’s role. Support in Syria was just 39%.
- Turkey is seen as the region’s foremost political power. Saudi Arabia is the region’s economic and cultural power and Iran is the region’s premier military power.
- 53% of participants felt that Turkey is a model for the region but down from 61% last year. The ‘Turkish model’ found most support in Libya, Tunisia, Palestine and Egypt but little support in Iran and Syria. Those that see Turkey as a model identify its economic performance (31%), democratic regime and secular system (both 21%) as its attractive qualities.
- 28% of respondents think Turkey’s foreign policy is sectarian. 62% think Iraqi foreign politics is sectarian, while 55% think Iran’s is, 53% think Syria’s is, 37% think Saudi Arabia’s is and 30% think Egypt’s is.
- Saudi Arabia is seen as the region’s strongest economy now but Turkey is expected to be the leader in a decade’s time. 21% of participants think Turkey will be the region’s strongest economy, whereas 16% think it will be Saudi Arabia and 7% believe it will be the UAE.
Click here to access the full text of the Image of Turkey 2012 Annual Survey in Turkish; and here to access the full text of the report in English.