But Dr. Emre Erdogan, a political scientist and partner of Infakto Research Workshop, a major polling firm based in Istanbul, says Turkish views of the United States have deteriorated largely because of security concerns, not religious ones.
"This sudden and rapid decrease in positive attitudes towards the US is an outcome of the invasion [of Iraq]," Erdogan
said, adding that polls in Turkey show that the public thinks that the invasion has "led to increasing terrorist threats toward Turkey."
"Turkish public opinion perceives the US as the worst enemy of Turkey as a result of the intensifying terrorist activities of the PKK," he
said, using the acronym for the Kurdistan Workers' Party, which has been fighting for autonomy in southeast Turkey since 1984.
According to Erdogan
, Turks believe that separatist guerrillas operating out of bases in Iraq's northern mountains have grown stronger since the fall of Saddam Hussein and Turkish media frequently air evidence of alleged US collaboration with the PKK.
"Consequently, this intolerance and antipathy towards the PKK become converted to the perception of the US as the major enemy of the country," Erdogan
says that until recently even Turks who disliked the US government tended to appreciate Americans and their culture.Now he
sees an "emerging antipathy towards the Americans and the US life style."
"Our previous research [indicated] that the climate of Turkish public opinion was ‘anti-Bushism' rather than ‘anti-Americanism," he
said."Nevertheless, recent findings indicate a change of the climate towards anti-Americanism."
]]> 393@http://www.worldpublicopinion.org/pipa/ BR-MiddleEast/N.Africa-RA 2007-09-05T09:47:44-05:00 Q & A: Emre Erdogan
, Infakto Research Workshop
TurkeyUS_Aug07_img2.jpghttp://www.worldpublicopinion.org/pipa/articles/brmiddleeastnafricara/391.php Dr. Erdogan is a founding partner of Infakto Research Workshop in Istanbul and a member of ARI Movement, an independent research and educational organization.He
spoke with WPO via email.
In the latest Pew Global Attitudes poll, more than four out of five Turks (83%) express unfavorable views of the United States . That's the second highest percentage (after the Palestinians) among the 10 Muslim nations polled.