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Jan 30 2019

Istanbulites looking for faith; Izmir, Ankara residents for diligence in mayor - survey

The most important quality in a mayor is their faith, according to Istanbul residents, while being hard-working takes precedence as a quality for a mayor for residents of Ankara and Izmir, according to a survey conducted by İstanbul’s Kadir Has University.

The results of the annual Turkey Social-Political Trends Survey (TSSEA) for 2018 have revealed that 49.1 percent of İstanbulites would like to see ‘’Muslim of faith’’ lead their city, while 73 percent of Ankara residents and 65.5 percent of İzmir residents say being ‘’hard-working’’ is the most important quality they look for in a mayor, left-wing news site Gazete Duvar reported.

The survey arrives as Turkey prepares to hold nationwide elections to choose local representatives for the country's cities and districts on March 31. As Turkey’s largest cities, İstanbul, Ankara and İzmir are considered key locations for pre-election surveys.

Conducted in 26 cities across with 1000 people aged 18 and over between Dec. 12, 2018-Jan. 4, 2019, the survey asked a series of question on life in Turkey as it prepares to head to the polls.

Unemployment is the most pressing problem Turkey is facing, followed by increasing cost of living and the devaluation of the Turkish lira, the study found.

The problem of terror, which generally tops the list of Turks’ concerns, slid back in the 2018 survey, which found that the Gülen movement - a religious group which Ankara accuses of orchestrating the July 2016 coup attempt and labels a terrorist organisation - is a serious threat to the country.

Twenty seven percent of those surveyed said unemployment was Turkey’s biggest problem, rising from 17 percent in the 2017 survey to find its place at the top of list of the country’s concerns.

Of those surveyed, 57.1 percent found that Turkey’s economy had taken a turn for the worse over the past year, while 21.9 percent said nothing had changed for the country.

Over Fourty-six percent said they supported the country’s executive presidential system, which was ushered in following the June presidential and parliamentary elections, while 58.5 percent said they were in favour of other alternatives such a parliamentary system.

For 28.6 percent of participants, there is political void in Turkey, while 51.4 percent do not believe this to be the case.

Of those who believe there is a political void in Turkey, 42.4 percent are members of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and 44.4 percent are members of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP).  Supporters of the far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and the ruling Justice and Development Party trail behind in this category with 29.5 percent and 13.3. percent, respectively.

The Kadir Has University survey found that 38.8 percent of the participants were happy to be living in Turkey while 19.8 percent said they were unhappy.

The group with the largest percentage happy to be living in Turkey were supporters of the AKP, the survey found, while MHP, CHP and HDP supporters were found to be proportionally neither happy, nor unhappy.

Of those surveyed, 60.4 percent said they would prefer to live abroad if they had the opportunity, with HDP supporters taking the lead in this category with 33 percent, followed by CHP supporters with 21.7 percent, MHP supporters with 17.9 percent and ruling AKP supporters with 10.1 percent.