Silent discontent among Turkish ruling party – poll

There is a significant degree of discontent among Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) over its alliance with far-right nationalists and due to suspicions of corruption, the secular Cumhuriyet daily said on Monday.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is looking towards local, parliamentary and presidential elections next year. He needs to gain 50 percent plus one of the vote in the presidential polls in order to formally take on executive powers approved in a referendum last year. But support for the AKP is languishing just above the 40-percent mark, opinion polls show.

The newspaper said polling by MAK Consultancy had shown discontent was particularly pronounced among the better educated among AKP voters and among those involved in business, but was largely silent.

Among the reasons, the poll said, was the AKP’s alliance the far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP). To many AKP supporters this looks like a coalition and one of the ruling party’s promises as it campaigned in favour of a presidential system, was that it would end the long history of unstable coalitions prevalent in Turkey before the AKP came to power in 2002.

Another concern centred on the government’s removal of a number of AKP elected mayors from office last year. The government said the party needed to refresh and renew itself, but many Turks believed they were removed because of corruption, the poll said.