It’s been a year since the US-led invasion of Iraq, and it’s not clear what will happen in that country now that it’s on the verge of being liberated.
But a recent poll showed that, among Turks, the US invasion of 2003 still seems popular.
The Pew Research Center’s poll of 2,005 Turkish adults found that 62% approved of the US troop surge, and the same figure was highest among Turks who had lived in Iraq for at least a year.
The results suggest that support for the US war has remained strong in Turkey.
“I think there’s still a lot of animosity towards the US,” said Aydin Ozcan, a 31-year-old software engineer.
Ozcan said he was a proud American.
“When you’re a foreigner, you’re more afraid of your countrymen, and so it’s hard to trust America,” he said.
But when asked how they felt about the invasion, more than half of those polled (52%) said they thought it was a good thing, compared with just 6% who said they didn’t.
More than half (56%) said that they thought the invasion had hurt the US, compared to 34% who thought it made things worse.
And while just 22% of Turks said the US had done more to help Iraq than the US government did in Iraq, 59% said that Iraq had done less.
Ozkan said that when it comes to the US’s economic policies in the region, it’s easy to forget that the US has a significant economic interest in Turkey, which was a critical part of the oil market for the Middle East until it was cut off in 2003.
“It’s hard not to forget the US presence in the oil industry.
We have some very important relationships with the US in the Middle Eastern region,” Ozkan told Al Jazeera.
“If the US wants to be a partner, it has to give back to Turkey, because the energy is so important.”
Ozcan also said that his government has made efforts to improve ties with the Americans and is working to find common ground with them on issues such as climate change and security.
“We are working on a climate agreement,” Ozcan told Aljazeera.
“And if we want to solve the problems in the area of security, then we should get to know the Americans.”
But even if the relationship is improving, the relationship between the US and Turkey is not always easy.
Many Turks have strong opinions on US policies, especially on Syria, which is one of the countries most volatile and has seen a number of US airstrikes against civilians.
“The US is the biggest terrorist, and we’re the biggest victim of the war,” said Aziz Kavik, an employee of the Turkish Airlines company, which operates Turkish Airways.
“What are you going to do about it?”
Aziz told AlJazeera.
Turkey has faced international criticism in recent years over its role in the Syria war, which has killed nearly 250,000 people.
Turkey and the US have signed a deal that aims to ease sanctions on Russia and Iran, but it has also become a flashpoint in the US presidential race.
In a speech in August, Republican frontrunner Donald Trump called for “a full restoration of the Cold War mentality” in the United States.
In the meantime, Turkish voters have rejected the idea of a “third way” with the Trump campaign.