The results of the polls were published in the Star daily on Thursday. According to a survey of over 2,100 people conducted by the Institute of Strategic Thinking (SDE) between June 17 and 21 in 14 Turkish provinces, 59.9 percent of respondents said Turkey should not participate in a possible military operation in Syria by the international community. Nearly 28 percent, however, said Turkey should participate in such an operation, while around 12 percent declined to comment, saying they had no idea. The same poll also found that 33.1 percent of respondents support Turkey’s foreign policy on Syria, while 48.8 percent finds the policy wrong.
Previously allies, Turkey and Syria are now at odds due to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s violent crackdown on anti-regime protestors. Turkey says Assad should step down because of the uprising in his country. Turkey has also set up refugee camps on its border for more than 32,000 Syrians who have fled the fighting. The crisis between the two countries reached its peak in June when Syrian forces downed a Turkish reconnaissance jet in international airspace.
According to a poll of 2,200 people by research company GENAR, 76.4 percent of respondents are against the idea of Turkey launching of a military operation against Syria. Only 23.6 percent said they would support such an operation. The two surveys also found that the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) continues to be the most popular political party in Turkey. In response to a question by GENAR over which political party they would vote for if general elections were held today, 51.5 percent said they would vote for the AK Party. More than 24 percent said they would vote for the Republican People’s Party (CHP), while 12.4 percent replied in favor of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and 6.6 percent in favor of the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP).
The SDE survey found that 49.8 percent of respondents would vote for the AK Party if general elections were held today. Nearly 26 percent said they would vote for the CHP, while 14.1 percent for the MHP and 6.3 percent for the BDP. In the 2011 general elections, the AK Party garnered 50 percent of the national vote. The CHP received 26 percent of the vote and the MHP received 13 percent. The BDP entered the elections with independent candidates out of fear that it would not be able to pass the 10 percent election threshold if it took part in the elections as a party. A total of 36 independent candidates supported by the BDP were elected to Parliament.
The SDE survey also revealed that 74.5 percent of participants back elective courses that cover the life of the Prophet Muhammad and the Quran, which were introduced in a new education law that has increased the duration of compulsory education from eight years to 12. Around 22 percent said they did not back the courses. The survey also questioned participants about their opinion of the trial of retired generals Kenan Evren and Tahsin Şahinkaya, the two leading actors of the bloody Sept. 12, 1980 coup d’état, on coup accusations. Nearly 67 percent said they support the trial, but 33.1 percent said they do not.