Stricter coronavirus measures by individuals on the rise in Turkey

In the early days of March, our polling results suggested that 46% of the population in Turkey would not get vaccinated if a vaccine was developed against COVID-19. Luckily, this indifference to the virus has evolved for the better between March and now. As we enter the most critical two weeks of the pandemic in Turkey, the numbers with respect to self-isolation and precautions offer more hope.

Since the outbreak of the coronavirus, we were keen to monitor the public’s reaction to it. At TurkiyeRaporu.com, we primarily sought to assess how worried the public was over the pandemic. In the early days of March, our polling results suggested that 46% of the population would not get vaccinated if a vaccine was developed. Luckily, this indifference to the virus has evolved for the better between March and now. As we enter the most critical two weeks of the pandemic in Turkey, the numbers with respect to self-isolation and precautions offer more hope.

On March 20, we published an article entitled “Korona virus Dosyası” in which we shared the results of a survey we conducted in mid-March. In this article, we covered important topics such as the extent to which the public was worried with regards to the coronavirus, the different individual measures adopted by the people and the level of satisfaction concerning the government’s strategy to deal with the pandemic.  

The fact that the symptoms of the COVID-19 take a maximum of 14 days to appear makes the results of the surveys we conduct every two weeks very critical. Measures taken today have the potential of showing us where we can end up two weeks later. That is why in our April survey we asked the same questions we had asked in mid-March and came up with a comparative analysis which shows an increased level of anxiety amongst the public, stricter measures taken by individuals and a slight increase in the overall satisfaction level towards the measures taken by the government. 

How worried are you about Coronavirus?

Overall results demonstrate that the level of worry towards coronavirus has increased significantly in comparison to results obtained in mid-March. While 52% of participants stated that they were worried in mid-March, this number went up by 18% and reached 70% in April. More importantly there seems to be a 10% decrease in those participants who gave the answer “Not worried at all”. This proves that awareness of the seriousness of the current situation has increased overall amongst the public.

Analyzing the responses based on the age breakdown of the participants shows that the most worried age group is the 25-34 age group. It is important to note that this age groups is 19% more worried compared to two weeks ago.

Additionally, the age group that experienced the most increase in the level of worry is the 45-54 age group with an increase of 24%. The 65 and above age group who are subject to a curfew since March 21st also experienced a significant increased in the level of worry with 22%. Lastly, when we analyze the results based on the political view breakdown of participants, it is possible to see that every party voter is significantly more worried. The most worried group are CHP voters with 80%, while the least worried group are AK Party voters with 63%.

Which of the following preventative measures have you taken against the Coronavirus?

The overall increase in the level of worry with regards to coronavirus is also reflected in the increase of individual measures taken by the participants. There is an 18% increase in the level of agreement to the eight statements provided to participants when compared to the mid-March results.

When we conducted our survey two weeks ago, those under the age of 20 and older than 65 were not yet subject to a curfew. Due to rules and regulations, we are unable to conduct surveys with those who are under the age of 18, who constitute approximately 30% of the population of Turkey. However, if we assume that this age group abides by the rules of the curfew in a large extent, it is possible to say that the overall percentage of people who go outside has significantly decreased. Among all measures, wearing a mask is the most increased measure with 33%. Lastly, the fact that “Don’t go to work” has increased by 29% to 55% is good news.  

In addition to the eight statements provided above, we added three new measures in the April survey. According to our results, while 67% of participants frequently wash their hands, 40% of participants use gloves to protect themselves. It is also interesting that while 62% of participants stay at home, only 24% state that they work from home. 

I find the Government Coronavirus response...

Looking at the satisfaction levels regarding the measures taken by the government shows a minor increase in the overall satisfaction with the government measures. To be more specific, while 42% of participants stated that they find the measures sufficient, 29% stated that they do not. Compared to the mid-March results, the percentage of participants who find the measures sufficient went up by 3%, while the percentage of participants who do not find the measures sufficient went up by 1%. Looking at the data in detail shows that this increase for both views comes from an increase in the responses “not sufficient at all” and “very sufficient”. This demonstrates that there is increased disagreement in the government’s preventative measures among the public. 

The political view breakdown of participants shows exactly where the disagreement is within the society. Overall, AK Party voters find the measures taken by the government the most sufficient with 69%, while CHP voters find them the least sufficient with 30%. When compared with the results from two weeks ago HDP (19%), İYİ Parti(12%), MHP(7%) and AK Party(2%) voters show increased levels of satisfaction. On the other hand, the percentage of CHP voters who do not find the measures sufficient has risen from 35% to 50%.