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Turkey’s democracy evolving but concerns about high youth unemployment, economy 20 février 2011

Posted by Acturca in Economy / Economie, Turkey / Turquie.
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Associated Press (AP)

February 20th, 2011

Unlike people in many other countries of the Middle East, Turks actually like their government and their leaders. But they still don’t like the way their country is headed.

About 54 percent of the Turkish public has a favorable opinion of the increasingly high-profile Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, according to a new AP-GfK Poll. Majorities also trust the military, the judiciary, the presidency and the Grand National Assembly to do the right thing at least most of the time, a faith in political institutions that is lacking in much of the region.

However, most Turks still say their country is headed in the wrong direction, with the economy as their top concern.

A broad majority call unemployment is an « extremely serious » problem in Turkey, despite economic growth of about 7 percent in 2010. The unemployment rate in October was about 11 percent, but it almost doubled for those between the ages of 15 and 24 at 21 percent. The majority of Turkey’s 74 million people are young, and the country’s social net is still relatively weak.

About half of Turks see « a high level of economic growth » as an extremely important as a goal for their country. Thirty-eight percent call the country’s economy « poor » or « very poor, » and just 34 percent expect their personal financial situation to improve over the next five years.

Negative perceptions of the country’s economy appear to drive Turks’ outlook on their nation and even their home life. Among those who describe the economy as « poor, » 87 percent say the country is headed in the wrong direction, and only 34 percent say they are generally happy with how things are going in their lives. Likewise, this group is less apt to trust the nation’s institutions and leaders to do what is right.

Still, Turks are conflicted about whether a shift toward greater government control of business would improve things. Most say incomes should be made more equal and that they prefer more government ownership of business and industry. At the same time, a majority see economic competition as a positive, for stimulating « people to work hard and develop new ideas, » and prefer business owner or employee autonomy.

Beyond the economy, terrorism rises as another widespread concern, with 66 percent calling it an « extremely serious » problem, about on par with unemployment.

How Turkey poll was done

The Associated Press-GfK Poll in Turkey, on attitudes and opinions of Turks, was conducted by GfK Roper Public Affairs & Corporate Communications from Nov. 1 to Dec. 11, 2010. It is based on a national random sample of 1,200 Turks age 18 and older from different interviewing locations.

Forty-eight cities and districts were initially selected, with probability proportionate to size. Next, 60 urban blocks and 40 rural blocks were randomly selected from the 48.

Excluded from the block selection were remote areas without drivable roads, including some high-mountain terrain, and clusters of minority ethnic groups whose command of Turkish was limited. The lack of official statistics makes it difficult to estimate the amount of non-coverage, but it is probably somewhere between 7 and 12 percent.

In the blocks, interviewers were assigned random routes with rules to randomly select a household for the interview. Interviewers then recorded the number of adults in the household and randomly selected one adult for the interview. Interviewers revisited the home if the selected adult was not present.

Interviews were conducted in Turkish.

As is done routinely in surveys, results were weighted, or adjusted, to ensure that responses accurately reflect the population’s makeup. The sample was weighted to take into account the sampling method, as well as for age, geography, sex, employment status, education and socio-economic status.

No more than one time in 20 should chance variations in the sample cause the results to vary by more than plus or minus 3.1 percentage points from the answers that would be obtained if all adults in Turkey were polled.

There are other sources of potential error in polls, including the wording and order of questions.

The questions and results for this poll are available at http://www.ap-gfkpoll.com.

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