Survey: Majority of Turks believe Europe wants to divide Turkey

An overwhelming majority of Turks believe that Europe wants to divide Turkey in the same way the Ottoman Empire was divided, according to a public survey conducted by İstanbul Bilgi University.

The survey, titled “Türkiye’de Kutuplaşmanın Boyutları” (Dimensions of the Polarization in Turkey), was conducted in November and December 2017 on 2,004 adults across 16 Turkish provinces through face-to-face interviews.

Associate Professor Emre Doğan led the survey, which was conducted with financial support from the US Marshall Fund.

When asked under a section titled “Sevres Syndrome” whether European countries want to divide Turkey just as they did to the Ottoman Empire in the past, 87.6 percent of respondents answered in the affirmative.

The percentage of those who think the European Union is demanding reforms from Turkey similar to those cited in the Treaty of Sevres is 73.2 percent.

The Treaty of Sevres was signed in 1920 by the Central Powers after their defeat in World War I and marked the beginning of the partitioning of the Ottoman Empire as well as its dismemberment.

According to 54.3 percent of respondents, the US poses the biggest threat to Turkey, followed by Israel at 14 percent.

When asked which party they feel to be the most distant to them, 53 percent named the pro-Kurdish Democratic Peoples’ Party (HDP), followed by the Justice and Development Party (AKP) at 24 percent.

The survey also revealed that the most trusted institution in Turkey is the army, followed by the presidency and then by universities, the government and the courts.

Confidence in the Turkish judicial system has sharply declined over the past years as the AKP government is accused of using the judiciary as a tool to silence and punish its critics. The AKP government has created a partisan judiciary, according to many. (

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