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Support for NATO plummeting in Europe, lowest in Turkey

February 11, 2020 at 3:42 pm

Flags of member states of NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) fly at NATO Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium on January 6, 2020. [Dursun Aydemir/Anadolu Agency]

The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation’s (NATO) public image in Turkey worsened sharply last year, according to a Pew Research Centre survey released yesterday.

The survey said 53 per cent of people in the 16-member body had a positive opinion of NATO, with less than a third expressing a negative view, most in Turkey.

Turkey has been criticising NATO for its failure to recognising the country’s security concerns and provide it support as an ally. The fight on terrorism, particularly against groups like the PKK, YPG and Gulenists – who Ankara says spearheaded a coup attempt in 2016 – have been the main causes of tension in recent years.

READ: Is NATO complying with its own Article 5 regarding Turkey’s ‘Operation Peace Spring’

The Pew survey also noted that several European countries “have soured on the alliance”, including Germany, where support for NATO fell to 57 per cent in 2019, from 63 per cent in 2018.

In France, where President Emmanuel Macron stated last year the alliance is “brain dead” because of a perceived failure to help resolve world conflicts, support fell to 49 per cent from 60 per cent in 2017 and 71 per cent in 2009.

In Britain, however, where NATO is taking on greater importance following the country’s decision to leave the EU, views of body increased to 65 per cent from 62 per cent in 2017.