Turks Show Conditional Support for Nuclear Armament

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In this public opinion survey carried out by TNS on behalf of EDAM, the Turkish public
opinion was polled on the question of “In reaction to a possible threat from a nuclear armed
Iran, should Turkey develop its own nuclear weapons or rely on NATO’s protection?”

According to the survey’s result, 54 % of the survey participants supported the option of
Turkey’s nuclear armament. While only 8.2 % believe that NATO’s security umbrella is
sufficient and therefore Turkey shouldn’t develop nuclear weapons, a significant minority of
34.8 % believe that Turkey shouldn’t develop nuclear weapons under any conditions. The
disaggregation of the results according to political party support shows that AKP supporters
demonstrate the highest level of trust in NATO’s ability to protect Turkey with 10.2 %.
Respective figures for confidence in NATO’s role falls to 7.2 % among the electorate of the
main opposition CHP and to an almost insignificant level of 1,9 % among the supporters of
the pro-Kurdish BDP. Furthermore,60,3 % of the pro-nationalist MHP electorate and 55,8 % of the AKP electorate support developing nuclear weapons against a possible threat from Iran. This ratio falls to 46,2 % for CHP and 14,5 % for BDP supporters.

Among the BDP electorate a slight majority of 51.4 % are against a possible Turkish nuclear
weapons program. The share of this anti-nuclear weapons constituency falls to 44.2 %
among the CHP electorate and to 31,6% among the AKP electorate. There are no markedly
clear differences according to age groups but the biggest support for nuclear armament
comes from the 18-24 age group with 56,4 %.

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