Turks consider U.S. far less threat than previous years, survey shows

The number of Turkish people who see the United States as a threat dropped from 81.3 percent to 54 percent in the last two years, according to public opinion poll published on Tuesday.

The United States still maintained its place as the number one threat to Turkey despite a decline by 28 percentage points, according to the Turkish Foreign Policy Public Perceptions survey, conducted by Istanbul’s Kadir Has University between April 29 -May 21.

Israel poses the second biggest threat to Turkey after the United States, at 41.8 percent, the study showed.

Support for Turkey's European Union (EU) membership has also increased, according to the survey.

A total of 56.6 percent of the interviewees said that Azerbaijan is Turkey's closest friend as the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) ranked second closest with 49.7 percent, according to the survey.

Ties between NATO allies Turkey and the United States have been strained since 2019 over Ankara’s acquisition of the advanced S-400 Russian air defence system, prompting Washington to remove Turkey from its F-35 Lightning II jet programme.

The two countries also differ over Syria, where the United States backs Kurdish militants that Turkey considers terrorists, Libya and the eastern Mediterranean.

The survey arrives as Ankara looks thaw relations with the new U.S. administration.

U.S. President Joe Biden and Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan met for their first face-to-face talks on Monday.

While the pair failed to announce major breakthroughs following the meeting, they have both expressed optimism about future ties, according to Reuters.