Polling the Middle East: UAE, China, Russia Up

January 22, 2014

TESEV a Turkish think tank have been doing polls  on The Perception of Turkey in the Middle East for the past 5 years and I’ve just come across their latest version.  The fieldwork was conducted in August and December last year and covers 14 countries across the Middle East and North Africa.  Although there are lots of questions about Turkey the poll covers other regional issues

Lots if interesting stuff here including data on media use but a few highlights.

Generally respondents see economic issues as the most important facing their country.

The most positively rated countries across the region are the UAE (67% positive) and China (64%) followed by Saudi Arabia (60%) and Turkey (67%).  Israel is the least popular (7% positive) followed by the US (30%) and the UK (36%)

Despite perceptions of increasing sectarianism across the region Hezbollah rates a 44% positive rating only one point behind the GCC and two points behind the OIC – Al Qaeda gets 7%.

Which country is the greatest threat to the region?  Easy one Israel at 40% – but it’s down from 47% two years ago, US is 29% and Iran at 10%.


61% of respondents see Iran as pursuing a sectarian foreign policy versus 43% for Saudi Arabia, the country with the most sectarian policy is Iraq (65%).  Views of Iranian nuclear weapons programme is pretty evenly split with 38% supporting and 42% against.

Perceptions of the impact of the Arab Spring have become increasingly negative.  The two countries outside the region that are now seen as having the most positive impact are China and Russia (both at 38%)

Only 33% of Saudis approve of the military coup in Egypt versus 67% of Egyptians.  The former is interesting given the vocal government support for the coup.  Average regional approval is 43%

Finally only 44% of people in the region admit to having watched a TV series from the US versus Egypt, Turkey and Syria have penetration rates between 67 and 69%


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