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    Vast Majority of Turks See US, EU as Enemies - Poll

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    A recent poll depicts the Turkish population as very wary indeed: an overwhelming majority of Turks see Western nations as Turkey’s enemy, it revealed.

    A poll conducted by the Varyans Arastirma company across 25 provinces of Turkey questioning 4,200 participants revealed that an overwhelming majority of Turks see Western nations as Turkey's enemy, despite Ankara's military alliance with Europe and the US.

    The poll, which was conducted between May 23 and 26, included several questions, all formulated in a similar way to this: "How would you assess Turkey's relationship of friendship with the US concerning Turkey's interests?"

    Lest you think Turkey uniquely bristly, a similar poll in the US found that a whopping 87.6 percent of respondents said Washington is not a friend of Ankara. Only 5.4 percent answered otherwise.

    The two countries' relations have deteriorated lately, mainly because the US refuses to extradite Fethullah Gulen, the cleric accused of the 2016 coup attempt in Turkey, while the US is demanding Ankara release US citizens from Turkish custody. In addition, Turkey, a mostly Muslim nation, reacted negatively to US President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as capital of Israel. Palestinians hope that East Jerusalem will be the capital of a Palestinian state one day.

    Turkey's attitude to Germany is equally cool: 82.2 percent of respondents of the May poll said Germany was not a friend of Turkey either. Just 8.6 percent disagreed. About the EU, 82.2 percent again felt decidedly unfriendly. Ankara has strained relations with several EU nations, including Germany, Austria and the Netherlands, partly because these countries house several million Turks eligible to vote in Turkish elections, but forbid Turkish government officials from campaigning on their territories.

    Ankara also condemns EU countries for providing asylum to Gulen movement followers after the 2016 coup attempt.

    NATO, a Western military alliance Ankara is a part of, enjoys a slightly friendlier attitude, with 73.8 percent of Turks saying NATO was their enemy. Some 14.6 percent of respondents shared the opposite view.

    Toward Moscow, Turkey was warmer still, with 67.1 of Turks calling Russia an enemy and 23.3 saying the opposite.

    In December 2017, Turkey signed a contract reportedly worth $2.5 billion to purchase Russian S-400 air defense systems, and just this month forcefully rejected Washington's demand first to void the deal, and then not to use the purchased systems. Washington threatened Ankara with tough sanctions; Turkey said sanctions would not go unanswered.

    But it seems that Turks like no one, as some 64.4 percent of respondents said Iran was also an enemy of Turkey, even though Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan himself said Tehran "feels like a second home" back in 2014. Only 22.8 of survey participants found their president's home away from home above suspicion.

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    attitude, enemies, poll, EU, Iran, Russia, Germany, United States, Turkey
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