Unsurprisingly, the Turkish public is focused on Idlib. The rising number of slain soldiers and the difficulty to see an definitive end in sight to conflict worries many people. In contrast, the Coronavirus is far from being a concern. During the second half of February - before a deadly attack on Turkish soldiers that caused the death of more than 30 - at TurkiyeRaporu.com we asked the public what worried them the most about the tension between Syria and Turkey.
The first cause for worry was the risk of casualties which was stated as the chief concern by 47.1% of the survey participants. Interestingly, both the main opposition party, CHP, as well as the electorate of the ruling AK Party , regarded this risk as their major concern. The share of party voters that feared this outcome was especially high in the CHP base, with 58.5% followed by AK Party at 53.1%. In light of the recent developments in Idlib and the aforementioned poll results, if the heavy Turkish casualties continue to rise, the government might risk losing domestic support.
Which of the following worries you the most regarding the tension between Syria and Turkey?
A secondary concern was the risk of war, that is full fledged and official. 22.2% of the survey participants earmarked this risk as their primary concern. This figure increases to 44.4% within the İYİ Party electorate and to 36.8% within the HDP electorate. A third concern was the risk of more refugees coming from Syria with 15.1% of the survey participants underlining this option. However, almost 20.8% of the MHP electorate viewed this risk as their major concern.
12.3% of the survey participants regarded the economic consequences of the ongoing conflict in Syria was the primary risk. This figure rises to 20.5% within HDP voters. There were also some marked differences within different demographic groups. For women, the risk of casualties ranks highest with almost 51.8% of the female survey participants indicating it as their highest concern. The share for men stands at 41.4%.
Conversely, men were more worried about the risk of additional refugees with 20% of the male participants indicating this outcome as their chief concern. The figure for female participants was 11%.
From the standpoint of age groups, the risk of casualties was viewed as the highest concern by the youngest as well as the oldest age cohorts. 53.2% of the participants within the 18-24 age group ranked it as their highest concern. Similarly, 56.1% of the participants above the age of 64 ranked it as their main concern.
The concern about additional refugees peaks for the age group that is joining or has recently joined the working population. For instance, it was identified as the primary concern for 19.9% of the 25-34 age group. The national average is 15.1%. The conflict's economic consequences were identified as the primary concern by slightly older demographics. 16.6% of the 45-54 age group identified this risk as their primary concern against a national average of 12.3%.
Finally, within the youngest age group, 18-24, only 12.7% viewed the threat of war as their chief concern. This figure is above 21% for all the other age groups.