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 Kurds do not trust Turkish security institutions: Pew Survey 

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Kurds do not trust Turkish security institutions: Pew Survey  24.9.2010  
Vladimir van Wilgenburg, Journalist - Netherlands 

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September 24, 2010

Confidence in military has dropped steeply among Turkey’s Kurdish population, according to a recent survey from the Pew Research Center about Turkey. The survey also suggests Kurds do not trust the Turkish national police and love the European Union.

The recent Pew Global Attitudes Survey conducted in April 12-30 reveals Turks are downbeat about their institutions. It also revealed the attitude of the country’s Kurdish minority.

According to the Survey the support for the EU is low. 28% of the Turks look favorably to the EU, while also the support for joining the EU has declined: in 2005, 68% of Turks wanted their country to become an EU member; today, a slim 54% majority holds this view. But the Kurds are much more pro-European than the rest of the population. About half (49%) express a favorable opinion of the EU and eight-in-ten favor EU membership for Turkey.                   

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The Survey also showed confidence of the Turkish Kurds in Turkey’s security institutions is very negative. Confidence in the military has dropped most steeply among the Kurds -- just 37% of Kurds give the military a positive rating, compared with 64% in the 2007 poll. Still the majority of the Turks is positive about the Turkish military (72%),www.ekurd.netbut in 2007 this number was still 85%. And the number of Turks who believe the military is having a very good impact has declined from 57% to 30% over this period.

The police receive the second highest ratings of Turkish institutions, with 68% of Turks saying the police are having a good influence on the way things are going. The police receive especially favorable ratings from AKP supporters (84% good). But relatively few Kurds (39% good) offer a positive assessment.

Kurds in Turkey comprise approximately one-fifth of the population. The majority of Kurds live in Turkey’s southeast, but many Kurds have immigrated to other parts of Turkey. According to the Minority Risk Index (MAR) the situation of the Kurds in Turkey has slightly improved in the past few years, although significant obstacles remain, including serious discrimination.
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