The findings of the CRRC-Armenia/TESEV joint survey on public perception in Armenia on the normalization of Turkey-Armenia relations have been published. According to the survey, issues of trust regarding normalization persist, however, especeially the opening of the border and economic relations may constitute an important step in normalization.
The findings of the joint research of the Caucasus Research Resource Center (CRRC) and the Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV) on the public perception of Turkey-Armenia relations were presented at a meeting held at Havak Hall of the Anarad Hığutyun Building.
The study, prepared within the scope of the EU-financed Armenia-Turkey Normalization Process Support Program includes the field survey carried out in 2014 in Armenia by CRRC.
Béla Szombati, Chargé d’Affaires at the Delegation of the European Union to Turkey, Zerrin Cengiz from TESEV, Heghine Manasyan, Hrachia Kazhoyan and Monika Shahmenendyan, project managers at CRRC spoke at the press conference.
The findings of the survey reveal that the Turkey-Armenia normalization process is followed closely by a large section of society. Although trust in political developments to provide normalization is not high, according to the survey, the opening of the border and economy are the keys for further developments between the two countries.
The findings of the survey carried out with 1164 individuals from 13 to 25 December 2014 are as follows:
- The issue that attracts the most attention in the context of Armenia-Turkey relations is the recognition of the Armenian Genocide (85%). This is followed by ‘the opening of the Turkey-Armenia border’ with 51%, and ‘Turkey’s role in the solution of the Karabagh conflict’ with 32%.
- People living in regions closer to the border with Turkey display a higher level of interest in normalization.
- 51% of society in Armenia believes the border should be opened. Those who believe that the opening of the border will have a positive impact on the economy stand at 64%. On the other hand, the first reason those who do not want the border to be opened voice is national security, with 57%.
- Views regarding the opening of the border vary in the context of ‘preconditions’. 51% of participants want the border to be opened without preconditions, while only 3% want it to be opened even if it were with preconditions.
- 62% of participants think Armenia should establish economic relations with Turkey. 37% think political relations should be established.
How does Armenia see Turkey?
- 70% of survey participants believe Turkey should not be trusted, while 46% think that the views of citizens in Turkey do not coincide with the official policy of Turkey.
- According to 1 in 4 participants, Turkey’s Armenia policy is more suitable to normalization compared to 100 years ago.
EU process and Genocide
- 62% of participants believe that only international pressure will lead to Turkey recognizing the Genocide.