Erdoğan’s approval rating sees sharp drop since last year - survey

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s approval rating dropped by almost 10 points in one year, according to a survey conducted by one of the country’s Ankara-based pollster Metropoll.

The poll published by the company on Tuesday, titled “Turkey’s Pulse August 2019”, found that those who approve of Erdoğan as president and leader of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) dropped from 53.1 percent last year to 44 percent this year, independent news site T24 said.

Those who say they do not approve of Erdoğan rose to 48.5 percent from approximately 38.2 percent last year, the study found.

The survey follows Turkey’s March 31 local elections, which saw Erdoğan’s ruling AKP suffer its greatest upset at the polls in its 17 years in power. The Islamist AKP lost five of Turkey’s most populous provinces - including capital Ankara and financial hub Istanbul - to the main opposition secularist Republican People’s Party (CHP).

The Turkish president saw the highest level of approval - 90.4 percent - from AKP supporters, followed by supporters of far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) at 36.3 percent.The lowest level of support for Turkey’s strongman came from pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) and CHP supporters, the survey found.

When all voters were considered, those who did not approve of Erdoğan totalled 48.5 percent, and another 27.7 said they were undecided on the Turkish president.

Analysts maintain one of the greatest causes for declining support for Erdoğan and his ruling AKP has been the country’s 2018 financial crisis, which sent the lira on a downward spiral against the U.S. dollar. The country’s economy slumped into a recession in the second half of last year, before emerging with positive quarter-on-quarter growth in the first three months of 2019.