March 2, 2011, 9 a.m.
The International Republican Institute (IRI) has released a survey of Turkish public opinion, conducted between December 18, 2010 and January 4, 2011. The survey shows that while Turks are overall optimistic about the direction of the country, they have concern over the state of the economy. Turkey is scheduled to hold parliamentary elections later this year.
Unemployment continues to be the primary issue of concern among voters, and respondents say that fighting unemployment and combating terrorism will be the top two issues for them in the next general elections. When asked to evaluate the government’s performance on 14 separate issues, fighting unemployment received the lowest average rating, 3.77 on a 10 point scale. Moreover, a plurality of respondents believes that the political rhetoric has focused too much on the Southeastern problem (the way in which Turks refer to the issue of Kurdish integration