A record number of Germans oppose Turkish EU-membership and say accession talks with the country should end, according to a Deutschlandtrend survey conducted for broadcaster ARD.
Some 84 percent of the respondents say Turkey does not belong in the European Union, the highest disapproval rate ever recorded in Deutschlandtrend poll, which was published Thursday night.
In addition, a large number of Germans (88 percent) want the federal government to take a tough stance against Turkey. This went up by 5 percentage points compared to February this year.
Some 77 percent of the respondents believe the federal government should take economic action against Turkey, although 80 percent think that the German government should keep discussions with the Turkish administration open.
The two countries have been involved in a diplomatic row following a series of incidents. The issue became part of the German election campaign when both Chancellor Angela Merkel and her social-democrat opponent Martin Schulz were asked about it during last week’s TV debate ahead of the September 24 vote.
Schulz said he will end talks if he becomes chancellor, whereas Merkel said she will push the EU to reconsider its relationship with Turkey.
Support for the chancellor has risen slightly after the debate, according to the same poll. If Germans were able to directly elect their leader, 54 percent of them said they would vote for Merkel, up from 49 percent last week, whereas Schulz would receive 26 percent of the vote.
Support for each of the parties has changed little though. CDU is on 37 percent, SPD on 21 percent, the far-right Alternative for Germany is on 11 percent, far-left Die Linke on 10 percent, followed by the liberal FDP on 9 percent) and the Greens on 8 percent.
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