Majority of Turkish citizens favor good ties with Russia, consider US adversarial
Polls last year showed that close to 90 percent of Turkish citizens blamed the US and NATO for the war in Ukraine
By News Desk - January 10 2023

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An opinion poll carried out last month by Turkish firm Gezici found that 72.8 percent of respondents favor good relations with Russia. In comparison, nearly 90 percent see the US as an adversarial nation.

The poll, conducted among 2,500 people on 30 December and 31 December, also revealed that less than a quarter (24.2 percent) of citizens believe Russia to be hostile, as 62.6 percent believe Russia to be a friendly country.

Similarly, over 60 percent of respondents said Russia positively contributes to the Turkish economy.

A survey conducted last May by consulting firm MetroPOLL showed that just 33.7 percent of Turkish citizens blamed Moscow for the war in Ukraine, compared to 48.3 percent who accused the US and NATO.

Growing anti-US sentiment in Turkiye reportedly comes as a result of the attempted military coup in 2016.

“We can say that the people are more distant from the West and have more confidence in the Russians,” Murat Gezici, the president of the polling agency, said according to TV channel Ulusal Kanal.

Despite this change in attitude towards the US, the Gezici poll also shows that nearly 60 percent of citizens favor Turkiye’s continued membership in NATO.

Turkiye joined NATO in 1952 and has the militaristic bloc’s second-largest standing army.

Following the 2016 attempted coup, in 2017, Washington punished Ankara for purchasing Russian-made S-400 long-range anti-aircraft missiles, kicking out its NATO partner from the ill-fated F-35 fighter jet program.

The rift deepened following the start of the war in Ukraine, which was instigated by the expansionist policies of NATO. Since last March, Ankara has refused to impose sanctions against Russia and has taken a mediator role in the conflict.

Despite this, late last year, several Turkish banks complied with US-dictated restrictions against Russia’s Mir payment system, which was introduced in Turkiye after a meeting between President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin.

Last June, Deputy US Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo visited the Turkish capital to warn Ankara against doing business with Russia.

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