Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and İstanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu are leading neck-and-neck in a public approval survey conducted in December by the MetroPOLL polling company.
The poll indicated that 50.2 percent of the Turkish public approves of the political performance of Erdoğan, while 48.6 percent say they like İmamoğlu as a politician.
İmamoğlu, from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), was elected mayor of İstanbul in June’s local election re-run after Turkey’s Higher Election Board (YSK) cancelled the election results of March polls.
He ended the 25-year Islamist/conservative rule in İstanbul, just as another CHP mayor, Mansur Yavaş, did in Ankara in March.
According to MetroPOLL, Yavaş’s public approval rating stands at around 39 percent, making him the third most liked politician.
Yavaş is followed by Erdoğan ally Devlet Bahçeli, chairman of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), and CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu.
İzmir Mayor Tunç Soyer from the CHP had a 31.4 percent approval rating, the poll said.
Former Erdoğan allies Ahmet Davutoğlu and Ali Babacan received 21 percent and 19.1 percent of the public’s approval, respectively.
Davutoğlu recently established the Future Party (GP) in an open challenge to Erdoğan’s rule, whereas Babacan has yet to announce his new party, although the idea was floated long ago.