Thursday, March 24, 2011

How Turkey is Perceived in the Arab World

Though conducted between Aug. 25 and Sept. 27 last year, TESEV's recently released public opinion survey or perceptions of Turkey, Turks, and Turkish foreign policy in seven Arab countries and Iran takes on particular relevance given the democratic revolutions now sweeping the Middle East. At an event hosted and co-sponsored by the Center for American Progress, TESEV presented its  report, "The Perception of Turkey in the Middle East 2010," to a Washington audience.

Among its key finds are he highly positive attitudes toward Turkey held by all the countries in the survey, especially when compared with attitudes toward the United States and Europe. The findings add weight to the rather tired, but true argument that Turkey could act as a bridge between "East" and "West." However, more intriguing are the 66% of respondents who answered that Turkey could be a model for the Middle East, as well as the high support throughout the region that support Turkey's accession to the European Union and feel that it would have a positive effect on Turkey's role in the Middle East (64%). 78% of respondents thought Turkey could play a positive role in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

Most interesting is the large number of respondents who watch Turkish television series (78%). 76% of respondents said they had consumed a Turkish product, and when asked from which country in the region they would like to see foreign investment, 32% gave Turkey as a response. A significant portion of respondents (35%) also listed Turkey as a top tourist destination in the Middle East.

For the complete report, click here.

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