Survey: Turks Reluctant to Use Force to Defend NATO Allies

Turkish F-16, June 12, 2014Turks are hesitant to live up to their Article 5 obligation to come to the aid of another NATO country if it is attacked. Nearly half (47%) say Turkey should not use military force to defend a NATO ally if Russia got into a serious military conflict with that country. In this regard, views in Turkey are similar to the 8 other NATO members polled, including the U.S., Canada and 6 EU nations. In those countries, a median of 42% said their country should not use military action if Russia attacks a fellow NATO member.

On the other side, only 29% of Turks say they should use force to defend their ally, with around a quarter undecided (23%). Because of the relatively high number of undecided people in Turkey on this question, the percentage saying that they should defend a NATO ally is much lower than the 8 country NATO median (48%).

Turks are split on whether the U.S. would come to that NATO country’s aid. Four-in-ten in Turkey say that the U.S. would use military force to defend their NATO ally, while 34% say the U.S. would not and a quarter are undecided.

Image: Turkish F-16, June 12, 2014 (photo: UK Ministry of Defense)