Friday, December 13, 2002

America and Anti-Americanism: I'm appreciative that Barbara Lerner parses the Turkish "anti-American" sentiment so clearly. I had been thinking about this since I read yesterday's WSJ editorial, which called Turkey "a cause for concern." The percentage of Turks (based on a Pew survey) who view America favorably has dropped sharply of late. Lerner, though, has more detailed information:
To understand Turkish attitudes towards us, it helps to ask a question the Pew researchers failed to ask: "Compared to what?" A survey of Turkish opinion released in March did just that. This one was conducted by the Bosporus University European Studies Center, using a sample three times the size of Pew's. Instead of focusing only on the Turks' attitudes toward the U.S., they explored their attitudes to other nations generally by asking: "Which country is Turkey's friend?" Here are the results: 34 percent said Turkey has no friends; 27 percent said the United States; 9 percent said other Muslim countries; 7 percent said the European Union.
It seems that the Turks are more realistic than anti-American. The EU certainly has gone out of its way to snub the Turks. And, as Lerner points out, our aid to Egypt (where America truly is hated) makes our support of Turkey look paltry. What is that money buying us in Egypt? Send it to Turkey as a gesture of thanks to a true ally.

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