How is the European Union Membership Perception of University Students? Gazi University Faculty Member Assoc. Dr. Under the leadership of M. Nail Alkan, the survey “The European Union Perception of University Students in Turkey” applied to one thousand undergraduate and graduate students from 8 universities in 14 provinces revealed that approximately one out of every two students is against Turkey's EU membership.
While the survey revealed that 42,4 percent of the students approached Turkey's EU membership negatively, Ankara came first with 52 percent of the provinces that opposed EU membership. Istanbul, on the other hand, took the second place with 49,5 percent. On the other hand, the biggest support came from Gaziantep with 64 percent, followed by Izmir with 56 percent and Antalya with 55 percent.
In the survey, in which almost all of the participants stated that they had knowledge about EU membership, 23 percent of the students stated that they were quite knowledgeable about the EU, while 62 percent stated that they were partially knowledgeable. However, only 4 people stated that they had no idea about the EU.
While approximately 44 percent of those expressing a positive opinion on EU membership have the idea that "the living standards will rise to the EU level" with membership, one out of three people who oppose are concerned that Turkish culture and identity will disappear with EU membership. Other main reasons for concern are "They won't take Turkey anyway" and "double standard implementation".
While 42 percent of the students who have negative thoughts about Turkey's EU membership stated that if prejudice and insincerity against Turkey are eliminated, their views will change positively, while 26 percent stated that this will only be possible if the double standards against Turkey are abandoned.
Another striking picture revealed by the study is that 34 percent of the students have the view that Turkey will never be a member of the EU. On the other hand, only 15 percent of the respondents believe that Turkey will join the EU in the next 5-10 years. Despite this, the rate of those who think that Turkey has no other option other than EU membership is 70 percent.
The survey also revealed that half of the respondents have pessimistic views on the future of the EU. 34 percent of the participants think that the EU will get worse in the future, 11 percent of them think that the EU will disappear completely.
Another striking point is that more than half of the students see France as responsible for the negative EU perception in the Turkish public. With this, the rate of those who hold Greece responsible for the anti-EU attitude is 19 percent, while 15 percent of the students see Germany as the reason for their anti-EU attitude.
On the other hand, one out of every three students thinks that a more self-confident policy will improve the perception of the EU in the society, while nearly as many think that this will be achieved by eliminating the lack of knowledge in the society.
Source : trt