Popular support for Erdoğan hits lowest since fall 2020: survey

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The results of a recent survey by İstanbul Economics Research has revealed that the decrease in the nationwide support for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, which started in September of last year, has reached a record high, according to a report by the Cumhuriyet daily on Tuesday.

İstanbul Economics Research general manager Can Selçuki on Tuesday commented on the Turkey Report-May 2021 survey results, saying they showed that three of the Turkish opposition’s potential joint presidential candidates would each receive more votes than Erdoğan in the first round if a presidential election were to have been held last month.

According to the survey results, Ankara Mayor Mansur Yavaş and İstanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu, both from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), would receive 52.5 percent and 51.4 percent of the vote, respectively, in the first round of a presidential election in which they were running against the incumbent president.

The results further showed that CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu and nationalist opposition Good (İYİ) Party chair Meral Akşener would garner 45.4 percent and 39.4 percent of the vote, respectively, as the opposition’s joint presidential candidates.

Erdoğan’s support against the four possible candidates, which varies between 38.1 percent and 44.2 percent, is only enough to win against Kılıçdaroğlu, while the other three possible candidates would be able to unseat Erdoğan, the results also revealed.

Selçuki told Cumhuriyet that in response to the question “How much do you trust the Justice and Development Party [AKP] government?” some 48 percent of participants said they either “don’t trust them” or that they “don’t trust them at all,” a 4 percent increase since January.

“I think this increase is due to the government’s failures dealing with the pandemic and the poor state of the economy. Ruling party members’ failure to abide by the bans they themselves imposed [during the pandemic] and delays in the supply of [COVID-19] vaccines have caused a decline in [people’s] trust,” he added.

In response to a question regarding Turks’ reactions to the recently imposed bans as part of an ongoing full lockdown that started on April 29, Selçuki said people support the restrictions they think are fair and reasonable, while rejecting others.

“People don’t support tourists’ exemption from the recent restrictions or the ban on the sale of alcoholic beverages and some ‘non-essential’ products in supermarkets and shops,” he noted.

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