In the “Turkey Trends Survey 2021” conducted by Kadir Has University, 12.9% of respondents in western provinces of Turkey viewed the Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK) as being representative of the Kurdish people, while for the first time a political solution ranked higher than that a military solution to the Kurdish question, MA reports.
Kadir Has University’s Turkey Trends Survey has been prepared regularly since 2010 under the coordination of Prof. Mustafa Aydin, and the results for 2021 were published on 4 January.
The research headings were on “Demographics, Identities, Turkey and its Problems, Politics, Elections, Economy, Foreign Policy, Ethnic Relations, Terrorism and Security, Social Indicators and Coronavirus”, and field work was carried out between 23 October and 5 November 2021 to determine the public’s view of the current problems and agendas in Turkey.
The margin of error was calculated as 3% for the survey, of 1,000 people aged 18 and over living in the cities of Istanbul, Ankara, Konya, Bursa, Kocaeli, İzmir, Aydın, Manisa, Tekirdağ, Balıkesir, Adana, Antalya, Hatay, Zonguldak, Samsun, Kastamonu, Kayseri, Kırıkkale, Trabzon, Antep, Diyarbakır, Mardin, Malatya, Bitlis, Erzurum and Ağrı. Of the 26 cities where the survey was conducted, 80% are not majority Kurdish cities.
In response to the question regarding Turkey’s most important problem, 22.7% said it was the economy, 17.9% said refugees and 7.3% said oppression and rights violations. Of Kurds, 21.3% say rights and freedoms are restricted, however, this rate drops to 5.6% for people of Turkish descent.
Only 1.3% of respondents who evaluated the government’s policies on the Kurdish issue found it absolutely successful. Even for Justice and Development Party (AKP – Turkey’s ruling party) voters, the figure only stands at 2.5%.
The survey also asked about the “PKK’s Representation of the Kurdish People”, to which 12.9% of respondents answered “the PKK definitely represents the Kurdish people”, while 29.3% were undecided.
The research suggests that this rate could rise much more given the current political climate in Turkey, because the proportion of those who say “I am undecided” together with those who say “the PKK represents the Kurdish people” is almost half that of the whole.
Another noteworthy part of the research is that the dominant answer to the question “the most effective way to solve the terrorism problem in Turkey” was through military action according to surveys conducted in 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019. However, the research in 2020 and 2021 reveals that support for a political solution is rising.
According to the research, 27.7% of respondents said that the most effective way to solve the problem is through politics. In 2017, 40% of people of Turkish descent said military methods in answer to the question, but this rate went down to 27.9% in 2021.