Survey: Russia bypasses Israel as biggest threat to Turkey

According to a public perception survey, Russia has ended Israel's four year reign as the biggest threat to Turkey.

Mavi Marmara, 2010 (photo credit: REUTERS)
Mavi Marmara, 2010
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Israel is no longer perceived as the greatest threat toTurkey according to Global's Turkey Social Trend survey published this week.
Conducted in 26 cities with 1,000 participants over the age of 18, the survey aimed to reflect the changes in Turkish public perception over the course of 2015. Participants were interviewed face to face on topics including politics, social issues and economics.
The survey, according to the Turkish daily Hurriyet, which was conducted from December 9-17,2015 by Kadir Has University in Istanbul, found that according to public opinion Russia has ended Israel's four year reign as the country perceived to be the greatest threat to Turkey.
“Although Israel had been at the top of the list of countries thought to ‘pose the biggest threat to Turkey’ since 2011, this year the Russian Federation replaced Israel on this list. The percentages of those who consider the Unites States, Syria and Israel to pose a threat to Turkey have fallen in 2015,” said the university in a statement upon the release of the survey results on Tuesday.
The survey findings follow an increase in tensions between Russia and Turkey after Turkey shot down a Russian warplane near the Syrian border in November, killing one of the pilots.
Turkey claimed the warplane had violated it's airspace despite receiving multiple warnings in one of the most serious publicly acknowledged clashes between a NATO member country and Russia for half a century.
Russian President Vladimir Putin called the incident a "stab in the back" and Moscow has since imposed retaliatory economic sanctions on Turkey.
At the same time, Israel and Turkey are in discussions to negotiate a rapprochement after five years of tense relation following the Mavi Marmara flotilla incident. 
According to Israeli officials, Israel and Turkey are close to normalizing full diplomatic ties following a high level secret meeting in Switzerland.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has consistently put forward three demands for a normalization of ties: an Israeli apology for the 2010 Mavi Marmara incident; a compensation package for the families of those killed on the ship; and a lifting of the blockade of Gaza.
Netanyahu issued an apology in 2013, at US President Barack Obama’s urging, for “any error that may have led to the loss of life.” The sides have reportedly reached agreement on the establishment of a fund of $20 million for the bereaved families.
Israeli officials have said Israel would not lift the blockade, which it sees as of cardinal importance to its security, to please Erdogan.
Reuters contributed to this report.