Support for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has plummeted by nearly 10 percent since last year’s parliamentary elections to 32.7 percent, while support for the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) increased by three percent reaching 25.9 percent, the latest opinion poll revealed on Wednesday.
The poll, by the Ankara-based pollster ORC, was conducted as a one-to-one survey with a total of 4,156 people from 42 different provinces between November 9 and 12, with a first question being asked: “Which party would you vote for if an election were to be held [in the country] over the weekend?”
The far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), AKP’s election ally, saw an increase in support by 4.4 percent and received 15.4 percent in the poll.
Other opposition parties, the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), the nationalist Good Party (IYI) and the Islamist Felicity Party (SP), followed with 8.5, 3.5, and 1.3 percent respectively. Floating voters were 11.8 percent for the first question.
The survey has not included questions about two AKP-breakaway parties that are expected to be formed later this year by former Economy Minister Ali Babacan and ex-Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu to challenge Erdogan’s government.
The poll by the ORC, which is owned by a businessman known for his close link to the ruling AKP, came following a recent military incursion into Syria which is believed to increase the public support for the ruling party.
The offensive was launched on October 9 into northeast Syria against the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), which Ankara regards as an extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), a separatist armed group inside the country.
A great majority of people, 82.4 percent, said they supported the latest cross-border operation, with 12.8 percent saying the opposite. People who partially-supporting the offensive are at 4.8 percent, according to the poll.
As many as 45.2 percent of participants surveyed said they were affected by financial hardships, unemployment, and inflation, while 35.1 percent said “no’’ and 19.7 percent “partially’’.
The Turkish currency has lost almost 50 percent of its value against the greenback since last August due to tensions between Turkey and the United States (US) over the S-400 Russian missile among others.
The call by Erdogan’s AKP to dispute the Istanbul mayoral election in March this year has also worsened the economic situation in the country, costing the taxpayers 40 million ₺ ($ 7.143 million).
Turkey’s economy fell into its first recession in a decade at the end of last year and the Turkish lira lost more than 40 percent of its value.
ORC’s survey also included a question about public trust in the country’s judiciary. A total of 68 percent do not trust the judiciary in Turkey and 11.7 percent do, the poll revealed.
Around 4,000 judges have been sacked from their posts following a failed coup attempt in 2006 in the country. Many criticize the AKP government as it replaced those fired with the ones loyal to Erdogan. Many new-comers are barely out of college.
That is why the average level of experience of Turkey’s entire force of 14,000 judges is just two and a half years practicing law, Metin Feyzioglu, the head of the Turkish Bar Association, told Daily Sabah on September 9, 2019.