ANKARA (Daily Sabah) – Nearly 79% of Turkish citizens would prefer that their country cultivate a partnership with Russia rather than the United States, a recent survey found.
The poll conducted by Areda Survey between June 1-3 with the participation of 2,100 people showed that 78.9% of participants prefer Russia as Turkey’s main partner in foreign policy and international relations if the alternative option is the U.S.
While 35.5% of participants described the U.S. as “unreliable,” 18.3% labeled the U.S. as a “strategic partner.” On the other hand, 58.2% of participants described Russia as a “strategic partner.”
In the survey, the participants also answered “yes” with a rate of 64.1% to the question “Do you think Turkey should cooperate with Russia while conducting its foreign policy?”
When asked in the survey, “Do you think Turkey should cooperate with the U.S. while conducting its foreign policy?” 73.2% of the citizens said “no.”
If you were to choose between the U.S. and Russia in the question “Which country would you like Turkey to develop more relations with?” 78.9% chose Russia.
Some 50.2% of the participants in the study were men and 49.8% were women.
Age groups were broken down as follows: 15.3% were in the 18-24 age group, 23.2% were aged between 25-34, 24% were between 35-44, 16.7% between 45-54, and 20.8% were 55 years or older. 52.2% of the participants stated their education level as primary education, 26% as high school, 18.7% as undergraduate and 3.1% as having postgraduate education.
The United States removed Ankara from the F-35 fighter jet program on July 15, 2020.
On December 14 last year, the United States imposed sanctions on Turkey over its acquisition of advanced Russian S-400 missile defense systems, with Ankara condemning the move as a “grave mistake” that would inevitably harm mutual relations and threatened retaliation.
The U.S. sanctions were imposed on Turkey’s top defense procurement and development body Presidency of Defense Industries (SSB), its chairman Ismail Demir and three other Turkish defense officials, namely Mustafa Alper Deniz, Serhat Gencoglu and Faruk Yigit.
Back in April 2018, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin said in Ankara that they had agreed to expedite the delivery of the S-400. At the time, it was said that the delivery could be made between late 2019 and early 2020.