Survey finds PKK considered bigger threat than ISIS

August14, 2015

Daily Sabah

The results of a survey conducted by the ANDY-AR research company found that the Turkish public considers the PKK terrorist organization, which unilaterally broke the cease-fire a month ago and killed more than 30 security officers, to be a bigger threat than the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS). According to the survey conducted in 27 provinces with 1,504 participants, 59.2 percent of participants said that Turkey should fight the PKK more intensively than ISIS and 21.4 percent of participants said the fight against terrorism should concentrate on ISIS rather than the PKK.

Evaluating the results, ANDY-AR Chairman Faruk Acar said that the public perceives the PKK to be a dangerous terrorist organization, a perception that is derived from many years of experience. “This does not mean that they do not see ISIS as a terrorist organization. The PKK is a more common response to the question of which terrorist organization should the state combat the most, as ISIS is not an organization directly targeting Turkey,” Acar said.

The results also show that those surveyed still have confidence in the reconciliation process, which was initiated by the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government to solve the Kurdish problem. Turkish officials reiterated in the recent days that the reconciliation process would be shelved until the PKK leaves the country and buries their guns. Of those surveyed 37.5 percent said that there will be peace and an end of terror because of the reconciliation process and 10.3 percent said the current situation will continue. In addition 2.3 percent of the participants believe that as a consequence of the reconciliation process the country will be divided.

Furthermore, a recent Objective Research Center (ORC) survey conducted in the wake of an extensive campaign against terrorism has found that the majority of participants support the operations conducted by the Turkish Armed Forces.

The ORC conducted the survey in 26 provinces with 1,320 people on July 25 and July 26. It found that 80.5 percent of respondents back the Turkish offensive against terrorist groups. The survey further found that a large portion of the support comes from the base of the AK Party and MHP, at around 95 percent.