Corruption a major problem in Turkey, says survey

A recent survey conducted by Kadir Has University reveals that “corruption” is perceived to be one of the main problems facing Turkey, reports Today’s Zaman.

According to the Social-Political Tendencies survey released on Wednesday, corruption was ranked the third most-important problem in Turkey, with 14.2 percent of respondents believing that corruption is the most important problem in Turkey. This is the first time corruption has been included as an option for the most important problem in Turkey.

The majority of respondents (29.3 percent) still think unemployment is the most important problem in Turkey. Terrorism, which was perceived to be the second most-important problem in 2012, dropped to seventh in this survey, with 4.7 percent of the vote.

The survey also reveals that the percentage of Turkish people who believe that PM Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s policies are not successful has increased to 46.8 percent, compared with last year’s figure of 35.9 percent. According to 46.4 percent of those surveyed, the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AK Party) policies are not successful either. The majority of respondents (54.9 percent) said the influence of the military on politics has decreased.

The most radical changes in the survey were in the section concerning the terrorism problem in Turkey. When asked what is the most effective method to fight terrorism, 40.1 percent of respondents said political methods. Only 26.1 percent of people asked said political methods last year. Accordingly, the percentage of people who believe that the most effective method against terrorism is military measures dropped from 50.1 percent last year to 35.9 percent.

In one section of the survey, the government’s economic policies were also assessed by respondents. Of those questioned, 33.5 percent consider the government’s economic policies to be successful, while 48.1 percent believe they are unsuccessful.

Gezi protests affected politics

The survey also asked respondents for their views on the Gezi Park protests, which began last May in protest against government plans to redevelop Gezi Park, in İstanbul’s Taksim Square. When respondents were asked whether the Gezi protests have affected the policy-making process in Turkey, 60.1 percent said, “Yes, it has affected it.”

Of those questioned, 27.6 percent consider the policy pursued by the government during the Gezi Park protests to be successful, while 52.8 consider it to be unsuccessful. When asked what was the main reason behind the Gezi protests, 30.2 percent of respondents consider it a “reaction to government policies,” while 29.8 percent consider it a “provocation from foreign powers” and 21.8 percent see it as a “demand for basic rights and freedoms.” Regarding the media’s coverage of the Gezi incidents, 47.4 consider it to be unsuccessful.

According to the survey, the majority of the Turkish public does not support the Turkish government’s policies towards Syria and Egypt, two countries that are currently at odds with Ankara. Regarding Turkey’s accession process to the European Union, 51.8 percent of respondents support the membership bid, but the survey notes that public faith in the EU has been decreasing.

Meanwhile, 49.4 percent of respondents believe that Turkey should not form an alliance with any foreign country in its foreign policy and should act alone.  The survey was carried out from Dec. 26, 2013 to Jan. 13, 2014 in face-to-face interviews with 1,000 people in 26 different city centers across Turkey.

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About yavuzbaydar

Yavuz Baydar has been an award-winning Turkish journalist, whose professional activity spans nearly four decades. In December 2013, Baydar co-founded the independent media platform, P24, Punto24, to monitor the media sector of Turkey, as well as organizing surveys, and training workshops. Baydar wrote opinion columns, in Turkish, liberal daily Ozgur Dusunce and news site Haberdar, and in English, daily Today's Zaman, on domestic and foreign policy issues related to Turkey, and media matters, until all had to cease publications due to growing political oppression. Currently, he writes regular chronicles for Die Süddeutsche Zeitung, and opinion columns for the Arab Weekly, as well as analysis for Index on Censorship. Baydar blogs with the Huffington Post, sharing his his analysis and views on Turkish politics, the Middle East, Balkans, Europe, U.S-Turkish relations, human rights, free speech, press freedom, history, etc. His opinion articles appeared at the New York Times, the Guardian, El Pais, Svenska Dagbladet, and Al Jazeera English online. Turkey’s first news ombudsman, beginning at Milliyet daily in 1999, Baydar worked in the same role as reader representative until 2014. His work included reader complaints with content, and commentary on media ethics. Working in a tough professional climate had its costs: he was twice forced to leave his job, after his self-critical columns on journalistic flaws and fabricated news stories. Baydar worked as producer and news presenter in Swedish Radio &TV Corp. (SR) Stockholm, Sweden between 1979-1991; as correspondent for Scandinavia and Baltics for Turkish daily Cumhuriyet between 1980-1992, and the BBC World Service, in early 1990's. Returning to Turkey in 1994, he worked as reporter and ediytor for various outlets in print, as well as hosting debate porogrammes in public and private TV channels. Baydar studied informatics, cybernetics and, later, had his journalism ediucatiob in the University of Stockholm. Baydar served as president of the U.S. based International Organizaton of News Ombudsmen (ONO) in 2003. He was a Knight-Wallace Fellow at University of Michigan in 2004. Baydar was given the Special Award of the European Press Prize (EPP), for 'excellence in journalism', along with the Guardian and Der Spiegel in 2014. He won the Umbria Journalism Award in March 2014 and Caravella/Mare Nostrum Prize in 2015; both in Italy. Baydar completed an extensive research on self-censorship, corruption in media, and growing threats over journalism in Turkey as a Shorenstein Fellow at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.
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