Arabs believe Turkey should be political role model

February 26, 2012

Most people in the Arab world believe the post-revolutionary states in the region should model their political systems on Turkey’s, an opinion poll commissioned by The Doha Debates has found.

Seventy-two percent of respondents believe Turkey is a good model for Egypt, Tunisia and Libya, the states where the political regime was changed.

The poll findings contradict the results of the latest Doha Debate held in Istanbul, Turkey, on February 12 in which 59 percent of the audience said Turkey was a bad model for the new Arab states.

The main reasons given for supporting the Turkish model were that Turkey is “close to the Arab world in regards to culture, religion and traditions”, “Turkey has become a well-respected country” and the “Turkish model has integrated Islam into politics which fits into the needs of the Arab world.”

However, despite a high level of support for the Turkish model, a significant number of those polled were also sceptical of the motives of Islamists.

The poll found that 45 percent expressed concerns that Islamists would adopt the Turkish model in order to introduce their beliefs into government under the banner of religion.

The area with the highest number of people opposed to Turkey as a model was in the Levant (35%).

The poll, conducted by the polling company YouGov between the January 29 and of February 2, questioned 1001 people.

The Doha Debates are hosted and funded by the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development.




About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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