Sunday, 30 November 2008

The Most Anti-American Nation

The Pew Research Centre recently undertook a poll of nationalities to identify the most anti-American nation. Iraq? No. Afghanistan? No. North Korea? No. Iran? No. Pakistan? No. Surprise, surprise, the country where the population is most anti-American is a Western democracy - Turkey. According to the Pew Research Centre, only 12% of Turks like the United States, fewer than every other country in the world - and this despite massive US financial support to Turkey and a close relationship between Turkey and Israel, America's other ally bordering the Middle East. Jordan came next at 19%, with Egypt at 22%, both allies receiving funding from the USA and having peace agreements with Israel.

Soner Cagaptay, writing in Newsweek, says "Dear President-Elect Obama: As you take office, I am enthusiastically watching your desire to win hearts and minds around the world. But I am concerned in particular about Turkey. This nation is the embodiment of what the United States and the West want to achieve around the world. It is predominantly Muslim, yet Western and democratic. But the Turks are vehemently anti-American, so much so that they consistently rank in polls as the most anti-American country in the world. According to the Pew Center's latest poll, only 12 percent of the Turks like the United States—fewer, even, than the percentage of Pakistanis. Obamania in Turkey will help you change America's image, but given the dismal numbers, I am afraid that might not be enough. Despite the close cooperation with the United States on Iraq, Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government has taken the easy way, bashing America at home in an attempt to boost its own popularity. But you should not ignore Turkey. Because of its strategic location, Turkey is a key partner to the United States in tackling many foreign-policy challenges. You will need Turkish support and the Turkish base at Incirlik to achieve many of your goals, such as withdrawing troops from Iraq."

The Newsweek article here
The Pew Research Centre Report here