How do Turkmens perceive Turkey? And what do Turkish soap operas have to do with it?

In anticipation of the presidential elections in Turkey (Türkiye) in May 2023 the Central Asia Barometer conducted a survey among 1500 respondents from Central Asia. The fieldwork took place in two phases, between November – December 2022 and May – June 2023.

Researchers conducted the survey via phone and asked questions related to respondents’

  • General attitude towards the US, Russia, China, Iran and Turkey;
  • Perception of the US, Russia, China, Iran and Turkey’s attitude towards the respondent’s country;
  • Consumption of news/entertainment material from Turkey such as movies, news, sport and soap operas.

In this article we briefly summarize the findings related to Turkmenistan and share the relevant charts, courtesy of the Central Asia Barometer.

For respondents from Turkmenistan Russia was the FIRST and Turkey was the SECOND most favored country while the least favored were the US and Iran.

Source: Central Asia Barometer.

Majority of respondents in Turkmenistan note Russia’s (95%) and Turkey’s (92%) friendly attitude towards their country. Meanwhile, the US was considered to be the least friendly with 18% of respondents rating it as ‘somewhat unfriendly’ and ‘very unfriendly.’

Friendly attitudes towards Turkey in Turkmenistan can be explained by a variety of factors, one of which might be media consumption such as films and soap operas. The success of Turkish TV series around the world has been interpreted as Turkish soft power.

News and sports are not so popular among people in Turkmenistan. Only 47% of the respondents said they watch Turkish news and 27% watch Turkish sports.

Meanwhile, Turkmens widely consume Turkish films and soap operas, the main audience of which are female respondents.

Do you watch any Turkish movies and soap operas? Do you think consuming Turkish media content influences Turkmen people’s attitude toward and perception of Turkey?

Spelling error report

The following text will be sent to our editors: