Three-quarters of Turks disapprove of government’s Syrian refugee policy – poll

Some 75 percent of people in Turkey disapprove of the government’s policies towards Syrian refugees, while 34 percent want the Syrians to return home even if the war there continues, according to an August survey by pollster Metropoll, independent online news channel Medyascope reported.

The survey of 1,085 people showed that 41 percent of supporters of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) object to the government’s Syria policy.

The disapproval rate of the government’s Syria policy is 76 percent among supporters of the far-right Nationalist Movement Party (AKP), which is in alliance with the AKP.

Some 89 percent of supporters of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and 89 percent of nationalist Good Party voters oppose the government’s Syria policy, while the number is higher among supporters of the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP), at 94 percent. 

The survey said 48 percent of Turks see the Turkish government-backed Free Syrian Army as an enemy, while for 92 percent see the Syrian Kurdish group, the People’s Protection Units (YPG), as an enemy. 

While 75 percent of Turks oppose the government’s policies towards Syrian refugees, objections to those policies are highest among supporters of the small Islamist opposition Felicity Party and the secularist CHP at 95 percent and 93 percent respectively. But some 56 percent of AKP voters and 84 percent of MHP voters told Metropoll they also disapproved of Turkey’s refugee policy. 

Some 70 percent of Turks believe Syrians will not return home even if the civil war in Syria ends, while 48 percent think the most effective way to deal with 3.6 million Syrians living under temporary protection in Turkey is to send them home. 

Unemployment, terrorism and begging are the top three issues that boost anti-Syrian sentiment in Turkey, the survey showed. Some 75 percent told Metropoll that Syrians should not be granted working permits, while 73 percent said refugees harmed the Turkish economy.