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Turks' paranoia explained by their past

Polls show that Turkish society is inherently suspicious of all other countries, and even fellow Turks.
Skyscrapers are pictured behind old buildings in Beyoglu district in central Istanbul August 29, 2014. The Turkish Parliament amended the commercial code to allow landlords to eject tenants of 10 years or more without cause. The rule, which went into effect in July, scraps a tradition of renter-friendly laws, potentially hitting millions of businesses and residents. Picture taken August 29, 2014. To match TURKEY-GENTRIFICATION/ REUTERS/Murad Sezer (TURKEY - Tags: BUSINESS SOCIETY POLITICS CITYSCAPE) - RTR4B

A poll by the Pew Research Center in October highlighted a trend in Turkish society with foreign policy implications: Turks hold deeply unfavorable views of other nations. The most disliked nation proved to be Israel, with only 2% of Turks expressing any sympathy for the Jewish state. The United States also turned out to be highly unpopular, with only 19% of polled Turks expressing sympathy. Similarly unpopular were the European Union, China, Brazil and Russia.

One could suspect that Turks' views of other nations are based on a distaste for all non-Muslims, as Turkey is a predominantly Muslim nation. However, Iran and Saudi Arabia — fellow Muslim nations — proved to be unpopular in the same poll, too. "In fact," the Pew researchers concluded, "it is hard to find any country or organization the Turkish people really like, except, of course, Turkey itself."

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