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Perception of Terrorism and Terrorist: How Important Who Holds the Gun?

Zuhal Yeniçeri, Ali Dönmez
2008; 23(62):93-103

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The main purpose of this study is to examine how Turkish university students define the concept of terrorist and to see whether these definitions are differentiated according to types of terrorism (religious terrorism, ethnic terrorism and ideological terrorism). Previous studies investigated how the concepts of terrorism and terrorist are defined by nation-states and the international system.. Determining the risk perception of terrorism and the relation between the perception of risk and characteristics of a terrorist is another purpose of this study. Finally, in this study, the suggestions of sanctions for individuals who are defined as terrorists are studied and the relations among these suggestions of sanctions, characteristics of a terrorist and risk perception of terrorism are investigated. With these purposes in mind, participants were given Characteristics of Terrorist Questionnaire, Risk Perception of Terrorism Questionnaire, and Manners of Treating the Terrorist Questionnaire. Different components emerged after the statistical analyses were examined and relations among those components were determined. Results showed that the concept of terrorist is defined with the characteristics of negative personality, positive personality, imbalance and dogmatism, and the types of terrorism have an effective role on the definition of terrorist. Besides, the relations among the characteristics of terrorist, different risk perceptions of terrorism and different suggestions of sanctions were found.

Keywords: Terrorism, terrorist, perception of risk