Turkey's ruling AKP sees slide in support, main opposition gains votes - survey

Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) saw an almost 10 percent drop in support since the 2018 parliamentary elections with 32.7 percent saying they would vote for the Islamist party if an election were to be held in the country over the weekend, a survey by pollster ORC Public Research found. 

A total of 53,9 percent of those surveyed said they trusted Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan while 37.6 percent said they do not trust him, Diken news site cited the study by pollster, owned by a businessman known for his close ties to AKP, as saying.

The survey by ORC arrives as Turkey’s Erdoğan’s enjoys soaring approval ratings - around 48 percent from 30 percent - following an offensive into northeast Syria targeting the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), which Ankara sees as an existential threat due to its links to Kurdish insurgents on its own soil and designates a terrorist organisation.

A total of 82.4 of participants said they supported Turkey’s cross-border military operations against terrorist organisations while 12.8 said they did not. Only 4.8 percent said they partially supported the offensive.

The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) saw a three percent increase in support since the last elections, according to the survey, receiving 25.9 percent support. 

The survey found that CHP ally centre-right Good (İYİ) Party and pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) saw decreased support, receiving 3.5 percent and 8.5 percent support, respectively. 

Meanwhile, AKP ally far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) saw a climb in support by 4.4 percent, receiving 15,4 percent of the votes, it said.

The ORC survey also asked participants about their views on the Turkish economy and judiciary.

When asked about whether they were affected financial hardships, unemployment and inflation,  45.2 percent said “yes,’’ 35.1 percent said “no,’’ and 19.7 percent said the were “partially’’ affected.

Turkey’s economy is recovering gradually from a deep downturn sparked by a currency crisis that erupted in the summer of 2018, which sent the lira on a downward spiral.

An overwhelming majority, 68 percent, said they did not trust the country’s judiciary, while 11.7 percent said they did.