Poll Finds Young Adults in Turkey Believe in Free Speech More Than America

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Studies through the years have shown that young adults throughout the world are far more liberal and accepting of factors such as gay marriage, transgender people, and abortion than older, more conservative adults. This isn’t really news. What is news is in the same census Turkey’s young citizens believe in free speech more than Americans.


The poll was orchestrated by Populus, a research firm, and their goal was to see if war-torn countries or those not considered “first-world” would feel strongly about being able to voice their opinions without the threat of injury.


In short, more young adults ages 18 to 21 in Turkey believe in freedom of speech than Americans. In the graph attributed to the poll, you can see that the last two questions which cover freedom of speech show 70 percent of Turkey’s young adults agree that freedom of speech is important. America comes in at under 60 percent. A whole 10 percent difference.


The first question from the poll says freedom of speech involves saying offensive things about religions. The other question simply focuses on saying offensive things to minority groups.


Where Turkey does fall off is whether same-sex couples should be able to marry. That is one topic that they seem to disagree with. For the rest of the various subjects, Turkey is around the same census taken from other eligible countries.


Other countries varied from all for it, to tolerate it, to absolutely opposed to the idea. In Britain and Germany for instance, only 46% and 48% felt that it was not okay to use freedom of speech when religion or minorities were involved.


This poll further cements that the younger generation is no longer willing to sit back and allow hateful speech. The younger generation gets a lot of flak about their goals and motivation. It’s nice to see they will step up when it matters.