Russia’s Lavrov to visit Turkey for Syria talks on Nov. 25

A recent survey conducted by the Pew Research Center has revealed that only 52 percent of Turkish respondents believe people should be able to criticize the government publicly, while this percentage was 95 in US and above 80 in European countries in the same poll.
According to the survey results, large majorities across the globe say people should be able to criticize their governmentand’s policies publicly without interference from the state. Of Turkish respondents, only 52 percent said the people should be able to criticize the government publicly without any restrictions from the state, a very low percentage compared to the US and European countries. The US polled at 95 percent, Spain with 96 percent, UK 94 percent, France 89 percent and Italy with 88 percent.
Five Middle Eastern countries — Lebanon, Israel, Palestine, Jordan and Turkey — were included in the poll. Among those countries, Turkey has the lowest percentage of those who say people should have the right to criticize the governmentand’s policies publicly. According to the survey, 98 percent of people in Lebanon, 93 percent in Israel, 74 percent in Palestine and 64 percent in Jordan believe the government should be criticized.
Another noteworthy result regarding Turkey in the survey was about media coverage of political protests. According to the results, 40 percent of Turkish respondents said the government should be able to prevent media organizations from publishing information about large political protests in their country.
Overall, a median of 72 percent in the Middle Eastern countries surveyed say the press should be able to publish information about protests in the country. Lebanese and Israelis are particularly supportive with percentages of 92 and 91, respectively, but Turks are more divided, with 50 percent of them saying the press should be able to publish freely, while 40 percent say the government should restrict the press.
The survey also reveals that at least three-quarters in each country surveyed in Europe and Latin America, as well as in the US and Canada, say the media should be able to publish information about protests in the country without government interference. Similarly, 82 percent in Ukraine support this type of free press. Two-thirds in Russia agree. Of the US respondents who participated in the survey, 86 percent said the press should be free to cover political protests, while just 11 percent of them were against this. Similarly, 94 percent of Spanish respondents believe the press should not be restricted by the government, while just 4 percent of them say the press should not be free.
Furthermore, the survey also reveals that 59 percent of Turks believe the government should be able to prevent media outlets from covering sensitive national security issues. This percentage was also high in other surveyed countries such as European countries and the US. For instance, 59 percent of US respondents, 54 percent of French people and 66 percent of UK participants support the governmentand’s intervention in the media regarding security issues.


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