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SURVEY: Majority of Turks Think Erdogan Does not Take Enough Climate Action

SURVEY: Majority of Turks Think Erdogan Does not Take Enough Climate Action
  • Turkey is the second biggest economy globally who hasn’t ratified Paris Agreement yet.
  • Conducted with 2745 individuals, new survey shows only 16% of Turkish society thinks Erdogan’s government takes enough climate action. 55% says no action at all.
  • Majority of the society says Turkey experiences climate impacts right now.
  • 71% states disasters have increased in recent years and a vast majority thinks climate change is the reason.

KONDA Research and İklim Haber (a Turkish climate news hub) have published “Climate Change Perception in Turkey 2019”. Conducted through face to face interviews with 2745 individuals in May 2019, the survey reveals the Turkish society’s perception on the climate crisis and its impacts. Respondents have also evaluated the climate actions of Erdogan’s government and local municipalities.

The survey reveals that only 16% of the population think the Erdogan’s government is taking enough climate action, compared to 15% for municipalities. According to 55% of the population, both the government and municipalities are doing nothing.

Survey participants were also asked when Turkey would feel the effects of the climate change. The results show one out of two people (52%) have already observed the climate impacts in the country and says, “we are already feeling them”. Only 3% of the population said that climate change impacts would never be felt in Turkey, compared to 23% who said that they did not have an opinion on it. Results also show that a great majority is concerned about climate change (61%). Comparing the results of these two questions, Baris Dogru, Chief Editor of İklim Haber says “23% of the society does not have an opinion about climate impacts in Turkey and hence they are not worried.” Dogru also indicates another angle about climate inaction in the country. “This is another sign of lack of action in Turkey. The authorities don’t only fail mitigating emissions or taking necessary measures to prevent/limit climate impacts, but also both government and municipalities fail to inform the society adequately.”

The survey reveals that only 16% of the population think the Erdogan’s government is taking enough climate action, compared to 15% for municipalities. According to 55% of the population, both the government and municipalities are doing… Click To Tweet

Disasters are on rise due to climate change

The recent official data[1] shows the climate-related disasters are on rise in Turkey. To understand how these disasters are perceived, the respondents were also asked whether they think disasters are

increasing and whether they are linked with climate change or not.  A great majority (71%) of Turks say extreme weather events such as floods, storms, heat waves and droughts have increased recently and 71% also think that climate change is the cause of them. Dogru says “The surveys we have conducted in the past two years reveal that the public is aware that climate disasters are increasing. Also, even though there is an information gap on local impacts of climate change in Turkey, they link these disasters with it, and they are apprehensive about the climate crisis.” In 2018, similar survey was also conducted, and results showed that 76% said disasters were increasing.

Survey also shows Turkish citizens find common ground on climate change, perhaps more than on any other issue. There is a widespread public support and even demand for climate action in Turkey. Even though we are going through a period of deepening polarization over religion and lifestyles in Turkey, the opinions and concerns regarding climate change remain almost the same throughout the society” points out  Bekir Ağırdır, Director-General of Konda Research “Our polling results show climate change is one of the major issues in which society is deeply worried and asks for climate action. We can’t exactly guess when, but it is imminent that society will start reflecting these demands to their voting decision”.

Survey also shows Turkish citizens find common ground on climate change, perhaps more than on any other issue. There is a widespread public support and even demand for climate action in Turkey. Click To Tweet

Leo Barasi, author of The Climate Majority[2], says “The experience of climate change has begun to force the issue into the political mainstream in many countries and the poll suggests the same could soon happen in Turkey. KONDA’s research shows that the challenge for Turkey’s politicians is whether they can take advantage of the alarm, or if they will wait until it washes them away.”

Turkey is located one of the most vulnerable regions in terms of the climate crisis. To tackle with climate change, governments and municipalities, as well as non-governmental actors need to take urgent and effective action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and implement adaptation measures to improve the resilience of vulnerable communities. İklim Haber and KONDA Research’s “Climate Change Perception-Turkey 2019 Survey” shows that the climate issue has not been overlooked amidst Turkey’s busy agenda. Policymakers need to urgently start designing policies to address society’s deep concerns regarding the climate.

Climate Change Perception in Turkey 2019 Survey

 

[1] Turkish General Directorate of Meteorology https://www.mgm.gov.tr/FILES/iklim/yillikiklim/2018-iklim-raporu.pdf

[2] Researcher and author of  The Climate Majority: Apathy and Action in an Age of Nationalism

Haber Merkezi

İklim Haber - Haber Merkezi

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