First Published: 2011-02-03


Mideast people see Turkey as model


Poll: majority of people in key Middle East nations see Turkey as proof that Islam and democracy can co-exist.


Middle East Online

A successful model for development

ANKARA - The majority of people in key Middle East nations see Turkey as a model and a proof that Islam and democracy can co-exist, according to an opinion poll by a leading Turkish think-tank.

The survey seen Thursday found that 66 percent of people in several key parts of the region saw Turkey as a successful model for development.

Conducted by the Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV) in August and September, the poll covered some 2,300 people in Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, the Palestinian territories, Syria and Saudi Arabia

Its release coincided with a deadly uprising in Egypt and unrest in other parts of the region following the downfall of Tunisia's ruler last month

Sixty-six percent of the respondents said "Turkey can be a model for Middle East countries" and an equal majority said they saw Turkey "as a successful synthesis of Islam and democracy."

Asked why Turkey can be a model, 15 percent pointed at the country's "Muslim identity," while others cited, in a descending order, its economy, democratic regime and "its defence of the rights of the Palestinians and the Muslims."

Among those who rejected Turkey as a model, 12 percent cited its secular system, while a lesser number found the country to be "not Muslim enough" or pointed at "its ties with the West."

Seventy-three percent believed Turkey's influence in Middle East affairs had grown over the past several years, and 78 percent said the country should step up its role, with an equal majority favouring Turkish mediation in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Turkey topped the list of favourite holiday destinations, and 78 percent of the respondents said they had watched at least one Turkish soap opera.

TESEV conducted the study to measure the effect of Turkey's drive over the past several years to raise its profile and clinch a leadership role in the region.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, a fierce critic of Israel and a passionate advocate of the Palestinian cause, has won himself a hero's status in the Arab street.

Under his Islamist-rooted government, ties with Arab countries and Iran have seen a spectacular revival: Ankara has mediated in a series of regional spats and signed trade pacts and visa-free travel deals with neighbours.


Erdogan urges world to recognise Jerusalem as Palestinian capital

Saudi, UAE seeks to help West Africa fight terrorism

US skeptical about Putin's declaration of military victory in Syria

Saudi King says determined to confront corruption

Saudi Arabia lifts decades-long ban on cinemas

Israel intelligence minister invites Saudi prince to visit

Saudi-led strikes kill 30 in rebel-run Yemen prison

Saudi king says Palestinians have 'right' to Jerusalem

South Sudan needs $1.7 billion humanitarian aid in 2018

UAE oil giant floats 10 percent of retail arm to strong interest

Growing concern about rise of far-right in Austria

Israeli sentenced to four years for arson attack on church

Erdogan risks sabotaging fragile relations with Israel

6.2-magnitude earthquake strikes Iran

Two Gazans killed by Israeli ‘strike’, Israel denies claim

French FM accuses Iran of carving out ‘axis’ of influence

Somali journalist killed in front of children

Over 170 dead after South Sudan rival cattle herders clash

Russia begins partial withdrawal from Syria

Russia weary of returning IS jihadists before World Cup, election

EU accused of complicity in Libya migrant rights violations

Pentagon skeptical about Russia's Syria pullout claims

EU says Syria war ‘ongoing’ despite Russia pullout

Istanbul nightclub gunman refuses to testify

Integrating Syrians in Turkey carries implications

US opinion views Muslims and Arabs more favourably but political affiliation makes a difference

Iranian conservative protesters say Trump hastening end of Israel

Senior Saudi prince blasts Trump's "opportunistic" Jerusalem move

Kuwait ruler’s son named defence minister

Jordan referred to UN for failing to arrest Sudanese president

Turkey demands life for journalists in coup bid trial

Netanyahu expects EU to follow suit on Jerusalem

Putin orders withdrawal of ‘significant’ amount of troops from Syria

Putin to meet with Sisi in Cairo

GCC at a critical juncture

Houthi rebels tighten grip on Sanaa after Saleh’s assassination

Israel’s Syrian air strikes risk renewing escalation as Iran expands presence in Golan

Qatar to acquire 24 Typhoon fighters from UK

Bahraini civil society group criticised after Israel visit

Israel PM faces renewed pressure in Europe

Palestinian stabs Israeli guard in ‘terrorist’ attack

UAE’s Sheikh Mohammed says US Jerusalem decision could help terrorists

Fateh encourages more protests, refuses to meet Pence

Chinese electric carmaker to open Morocco factory

Iraqi victory over IS remains fragile