Poll shows support for government’s Israel policy

Poll shows support for government’s Israel policy

September 14, 2011, Wednesday/ 15:48:00/ TODAY'S ZAMAN

A recent poll of Turkish public opinion has shown that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) increased its popular support by 3 percent since the general elections held in June and received appreciable support for its policies towards Israel.

In the face of a leaked United Nations panel report on the Mavi Marmara incident, which includes accusations against both Israel and Turkey, Turkey immediately announced that it was further reducing diplomatic relations and cutting military ties with Israel over the country's refusal to apologize for last year's deadly raid on the Gaza-bound flotilla.

In a poll recently conducted by the Sonar research group, 84 percent of the participants thought Turkey was right in regard to last year's deadly raid on the Gaza-bound flotilla, while 3.27 percent stated that Israel was right in attacking an aid flotilla on international waters. Additionally, 2.27 percent said both parties are right in their own way, 2.63 percent said they are both wrong and 7 percent of the participants did not express an opinion.

Sonar's poll shows that 48.63 percent of the people who participated in the survey approve of the government's latest policies towards Israel, 37.07 percent said they do not approve of the latest policies and 14 percent did not express an opinion.

According to the Sonar poll, the AK Party increased its approval rating by 3 percent, receiving 52.82 percent support. On the other hand, the main opposition Republican People's Party's (CHP) votes decreased to 22.37 percent with a record fall of 3.6 percent. The Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) increased its votes by 1 percentage point, receiving 14.1 percent.

The survey shows that 52.56 percent of the participants find the government successful and 5.7 percent stated that they find it successful to some degree. When asked what Turkey's most pressing issue was, 70.83 of the participants answered terrorism.

The AK Party increased its support by 15 percent in this survey over Sonar's previous survey, conducted in August 2010, while the CHP's support decreased by 9 percent.

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