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Support for EU membership rises to 66 percent among young people between the ages of 18-24 “Turkish Public Opinion Survey on Support for EU Membership and Perception on Europe 2019.” has been published.
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13/01/2020 - Viewed 426 times

 

 

ANKARA – TEPAV, with the support of the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB) and the Economic Development Foundation (İKV), published a study titled “Turkish Public Opinion Survey on Support for EU Membership and Perception on Europe 2019.”

Unlike the previous versions of the study in 2015, 2016, and 2017, the scope of the recent one has been expanded and the study’s methodology has been revised. MetroPoll Strategic and Social Research Center conduct the field research through face-to-face interview with 4,506 individuals from 35 Turkish provinces.

The field research, analysis, and results are grouped under the following sections: “Contact with the EU,” “Support for EU Membership,” “Faith in EU Membership”, “The Meaning of the EU and EU Membership for Turkey,” “Turkey’s EU Membership Performance,” and “The EU Agenda.”

Below are some of the findings:

Traditional media is an important source of information on the EU:

  • 93 percent of the participants claim they have heard of the EU before.
  • 87 percent of the participants think that traditional media is by far the most important source of information.
  • 63 percent state that internet and social media are the second most important sources of information.

The EU is considered as the second most important partner of Turkey after Russia:

  • According to the poll, the EU is the second most important economic partner of Turkey with 19 percent, following Russia with 31 percent.

Majority of the public believes Turkey needs the EU. The percentage is higher among the youth:

  • When asked “Does Turkey need the EU economically?” 54 percent of the participants replied “highly needs” the EU economically.
  • 69 percent of the participants between the ages of 18 and 24, thinks Turkey “highly needs” the EU economically.

Majority of the public supports EU membership. The percentage is higher among the youth:

  • 60 percent of the participants supports EU membership.
  • 66 percent of the participants between the ages of 18 and 24 support EU membership.
  • When divided into four geographic regions, support rate is highest in the Southeast whereas Northeast showed the lowest support ratio.

Participants were asked to pick the most important reason for supporting EU membership and “Turkey’s level of welfare would increase” was the top answer. The participants who do not support EU membership, believe that it may harm Turkish culture and identity:

  • 70 percent of participants who supports EU membership believes that EU membership would increase prosperity and develop Turkey economically.
  • The second most important reason is “Democracy and human rights in Turkey would improve” with 57 percent.
  • With 45 percent, “Our citizens would be able to travel, live and study in the EU” is the third most important reason.
  • 31 percent of the participants who are not supporting EU membership, thinks the EU reflects “recession and decline”.
  • 59 percent of the participants who are against EU membership, believes that Turkish culture and identity would be harmed.

Majority of the public does not believe Turkey will be an EU member. Higher percentage of the young generation believes Turkey will become an EU member:

  • 23 percent of the participants believes Turkey will become an EU member.
  • 28 percent of the participants between the ages of 18 and 24 believes that Turkey will become an EU member.

Religious and cultural biases are the primary impediment to Turkey becoming an EU member:

  • 78 percent of the participants describes the greatest impediment as “biases related to religious and cultural differences,” followed by “Turkey’s economic development level” with 29 percent, and “democracy and human rights problems” with 28 percent.

Freedom of movement and new employment opportunities were the most significant benefits Turkey would favor from EU membership:

  • According to the participants, 47 percent believed Turkey would benefit from EU membership in terms of “freedom of movement” and 33 percent stated Turkey would benefit from “new employment opportunities” by 33 percent.

The most important item on the EU-Turkey agenda is the refugee crisis:

  • The most important items on the EU-Turkey agenda are; refugee crisis (38 percent), the EU accession negotiation (27 percent), visa liberalization (17 percent) and Custom Union Agreement between Turkey and the EU (13 percent).

Custom Union modernization is expected to be “advantageous for both Turkey and the EU”. Younger generations support Custom Union Agreement more:

  • 48 percent of the participants states that Customs Union Agreement between Turkey and the EU would be beneficial for both parties.
  • 64 of the participants states that Custom Union Agreement’s modernization would be “advantageous for both Turkey and the EU”.
  • 70 percent of the participants between the ages of 18 and 24 believes Custom Union Agreement’s modernization would be “advantageous for both Turkey and the EU”.

Majority of the public reckons Turkey is ready for EU membership:

  • According to the results of the study, 60 percent of the participants claims that Turkey has administrative and institutional labor force to become an EU member.
  • Standing out with a higher percentage than EU membership supporters, 64 percent of the participants who do not support EU membership believes Turkey’s capacity is enough to become an EU member.
  • According to the poll results, 57 percent of the participants states that Turkey has done its part to become an EU member.

 

 

The pdf version of the publication is available here.

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