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Most Turks think NATO membership is important to address security challenges, survey finds

Most Turks think NATO membership is important to address security challenges, survey finds


The results of a review investigation conducted by NATO in its member countries show that a majority of Turks believe that being part of the transatlantic alliance is important to address the country's security challenges.

Fieldwork for the survey was conducted between November 1 and December 6 among 31 NATO allies, plus Sweden. Sweden, which became an official NATO member last week, was not a member of the alliance at the time the survey was conducted and so data from that country was not included. At least 1,000 participants aged over 18 completed the survey in all countries except Albania and Montenegro, where at least 500 participants took part.

When asked how important the relationship between North America and Europe is to you in addressing today's security challenges? 72 percent of respondents in Turkey said it was important, while 12 percent said it was not important, and the remaining 16 percent said it was neither important nor unimportant.

Eighty-two percent of alliance-wide participants found the relationship between North America and Europe important in addressing security challenges, while 12 percent found it unimportant and 6 percent said it was neither important nor unimportant.

The ongoing war launched by Russia against Ukraine in February 2022 has changed the perception of people and their countries regarding the military alliance against security threats. The Nordic countries Finland and Sweden abandoned their long traditions of non-alignment and joined NATO in an effort to protect themselves from Russian aggression.

Turks are also among those in countries where majorities think their country should increase defense spending, with 49% saying more money should be spent on defense. Forty percent of people within the alliance share the same view.

The Turkish government says it is working to reduce the country's dependence on foreign countries for weapons and military equipment by investing more in the domestic defense industry, which has boomed in recent years. last years. Turkey is now one of the world's leading exporters of armed drones.

When asked whether their country should defend another NATO country in the event of an attack, 54 percent of Turks said yes, while 26 percent opposed it. Across the alliance, an average of 61 percent of respondents said their country should defend another NATO country in the event of an attack.

Seventy-five percent of Turks agree when asked a similar question about whether NATO should defend their country in the event of an attack, while 10 percent disagree.

The survey found a widespread view among citizens of NATO member countries, at 61 percent, including those in Turkey, at 63 percent, that being a member of the alliance makes an attack by a foreign nation.

When asked whether they would vote for or against their country remaining in NATO, 65 percent of Turks said they would vote for it, while 20 percent would vote against it. Sixty-six percent of respondents support NATO remaining within NATO.

Turkey has been a member of NATO since 1952. NATO was established in 1949 by the United States, Canada and several Western European countries to provide collective security against the Soviet Union. It was the first peacetime military alliance entered into by the United States outside the Western Hemisphere.

To another question asking how safe they feel in their country, only 41 percent of Turks said they felt safe, while 49 percent said they did not feel safe in Turkey. Among all NATO members, 50 percent said they felt safe in their country, while 35 percent said the opposite.

Turks face a wide range of economic and social problems caused by the high cost of living, with inflation above 67% in February and record numbers of refugees, in addition to problems related to the rule of law and generalized human rights. violations.

The NATO survey showed that concerns about the cost of living are the number one challenge, at 58 percent, followed by economic and financial crises, at 37 percent, and climate change or weather conditions. extremes, with 32 percent, faced by the populations of NATO member countries.

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