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Ruling AKP voters unsatisfied with gov’t economic package against pandemic: poll

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A poll conducted for Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) has revealed that ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) voters find the government plan to counter the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic to be insufficient, the Cumhuriyet newspaper reported on Tuesday.

In the monthly poll submitted to CHP Chair Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, participants were asked about the government’s response to the pandemic, from both a health and an economy perspective.

While the majority of those surveyed found the Health Ministry either successful or partially successful in dealing with the crisis and approved of the measures taken to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus, only 10.2 percent said they think the government’s economic support package was comprehensive and adequate.

A significant 59.5 percent of respondents think the government plans will not provide relief to anyone, and 28.1 percent say the package was targeted at specific sectors only, according to the poll.

The breakdown of results by voting preferences showed that 71.5 percent of AKP voters were among those expressing negative views on the government’s economic plan. The rate was a larger 80.9 percent among voters of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), which has been a close ally of the AKP for years.

While President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has pledged some $15 billion in support to the economy amid the outbreak, his plan was criticized for including irrelevant tax incentives instead of directly supporting businesses and individuals who are at risk of solvency problems.

The government also refrained from imposing a total lockdown, confining itself to partial curfews on certain age groups while making sure not to limit the movement of the country’s working population.

Meanwhile, Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu, president of the Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges (TOBB), released a written statement announcing that they have been receiving complaints from businesses across the country about the banks’ refusal to grant them loans.

“Our companies are turned away by banks without even a review of their applications, with the justification that they have exceeded their limit,” Hisarcıklıoğlu said. “I would like to address all the banks. This is not the time to worry about profitability and be selective about companies.”

He added that almost all sectors have incurred significant losses in turnover.

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