Once upon a time, long ago, the people of Turkey held the United States in high estimation. Then, along came the wicked prince of the west, George Bush, and his inane ideas for spreading democracy by violence and the people of Turkey took a sharp u-turn regarding their feelings toward the United States. The past year only 9.2 percent of Turks liked Bush, but the latest polls show a remarkable shift in attitudes toward an American president with 39.2 % supporting Barack Obama. When asked who is Turkey’s most important friend, only 4 percent said the United States. The poll reveals 22.9 percent have a positive view of the United States but 37.5 % for American people. There is still extensive anger toward American policies in the Middle East and it will take actions to deal with those issues before the Turkish people have restored faith in America.
It is interesting that although Turkey is a Muslim nation, there is scant support for Muslim radicals such as Hamas leader, Khaled Mashaal who gets a 10% rating and Hezbollah leader, Hasan Nasrallah who is held in high regard by 5%. On the other hand, the more pragmatic Syrian leader Assad is respected by 22.5 percent.