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The Perception of Turkey in Middle East

19 November 2009

In recent years, Turkey has gone beyond its traditional foreign policy and increased its political, cultural, and economic presence in the Middle East.

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This study was prepared in order to measure this interest. Between the 24 – 29th of July, simultaneous interviews were conducted by telephone in Egypt, Jordan, Palestine, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and Syria, and face-to-face in Iraq. A total of 2,006 people were interviewed. The results were both surprising and confirming. However, three results are noteworthy at this juncture:

First, support for Turkey’s role in conflict resolution was high among respondents.

The second was that the most important problem for the people of the region was not, as we had assumed, the Palestine problem, but the economy.

The third was that Turkey’s relations with the Middle East were not seen as a barrier to European Union (EU) membership. On the contrary, the Arab world supported Turkey’s membership.

The main aim of the research was to shed light on the process of policymaking and to inform public opinion of the repercussions of Turkey’s Middle East policy.

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