Survey: How Greeks and Turks see their neighbors

Survey: How Greeks and Turks see their neighbors

The Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP) and the Research and Analysis Organization (diANEosis) in collaboration with the companies MRB HELLAS and the Turkish KONDA, designed and carried out a comprehensive survey project that had as its main goal to explore and determine the perceptions of the two peoples and the decision makers regarding their relations, highlighting the points of understanding and differences.

Under the program, a twin quantitative survey was designed and conducted in Greece and Turkey on a representative sample of eligible citizens. The questionnaire of the two surveys was common so that the results are comparable.

This report summarizes the main findings of the quantitative surveys that ran in parallel in Greece and Turkey on representative samples of the adult population of the two countries.

Indicators of οptimism

Both the Greeks and the Turks, in their majority, characterize the current situation of their country negatively. The Greeks with 52.1% and the Turks with 62.5%. The forecasts for the course of their countries in the next 12 months remain negative, both for the Greeks with 57% and for the Turks with 49.9%.

Regarding their personal / family financial situation in the next 12 months, Greeks with 49.6% predict stagnation. The Turks believe by 21.2% to improve and 40.6% worsening of their personal finances in the near future.

The view of each people about its neighbor

36.9% of Greeks have visited Turkey and 46.9% have come in contact with Turks. On the other hand, 2.7% of Turks have visited Greece and 14.4% have met a Greek.

According to the survey, 32% of Greeks have heard something negative from his family environment about the Turks while the corresponding percentage for the Turks is only 6.3%.

The Greeks at 56.7% say that are more informed about the developments in Turkey in relation to the Turks who are informed about developments in Greece at a rate of 42.7%.

Both peoples are equally nationally proud, 83.9% Greeks and 80.6% Turks. In addition, Turkish citizens believe to a greater extent in the superiority of their culture with 75.8%, compared to 49.6% of Greeks.

The rates of acceptance of mixed marriages are similar in both countries, from 32% to 38%.

Turks appear more tolerant in creating a friendly relationship with a Greek (74%) than Greeks (60.6%).

Both peoples believe almost to the same extent that there are more cultural differences, 39.8% for Greeks and 33.6% for Turks, from their common elements, 11.2% for Greeks and 11.8% for the Turks.

Regardless of the differences, both Greeks (68.1%) and Turks (73.5%) argue that a way of peaceful coexistence must be found between the two peoples.

In this context, 36.1% of Greeks and 31.6% of Turks consider that the reconciliation of the two peoples is difficult and there should always be the possibility in the defense of the country.

The main differences

The problems in the maritime space, mainly in the Aegean and secondarily in the Eastern Mediterranean, monopolize the agenda of the differences between the two peoples with about 58% in both surveys. All other problems such as refugee, international terrorism, oppression of minorities have very low rates.

Appropriate solutions to specific issues

Cyprus issue

The Greeks in percentage 56.5% consider the bizonal bicommunal federation (PFM) as the most appropriate solution to the Cyprus problem, while in Turkey the specific direction have marginally majority with 42.8% and 40.5% in favor of the solution of the two states.

The solution of the two states is also supported by a strong minority in Greece with 27.5% with increasing tendencies among those who identify themselves as right-wing or without a political identity.

Turkey’s accession to the European Union (EU)

53.6% of Turks want to join the EU with the percentage of those who oppose it being 18.5% and 21.5% being neutral about this perspective.

In Greece, 51.8% are negative about Turkey’s EU membership prospects and 20.2% are positive. 24.8% of Greeks are neutral.

The role of the international factor

Both peoples are suspicious of the role that the international community could play in their relations, with the Turks to believe in a higher degree 70.3% compared with 53.4% the Greeks that the international community will favor the other side.

Both peoples believe that the EU discrimination in favor of the other country and wrongs them. 64% of Turks share this view, while in Greece, although an EU member, 53.7% agree.

As for the other superpowers, there is a relative balance in terms of Russia’s position where 46.9% of Greeks believe that they support Turkey and 42.7% of Turks believe that they support Greece.

Relations between Turkey and the United States are problematic, with 62.8% of Turks believing that this country supports Greece.

The corresponding percentage of support of Turkey from the USA in terms of its differences with Greece amounts to 43.2%./ibna