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Turks’ confidence in AKP economic policies declined in 2021: poll

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More than 75 percent of Turks have said their confidence in the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP)’s economic policies has decreased over the last year,  according to a recent survey conducted by the Ankara-based MetroPoll.

The results of the survey, titled “Turkey’s Pulse – December 2021,” were shared last week on Twitter by Özer Sencar, the owner of MetroPoll.

According to the survey, when asked if their confidence in the government’s economic policies had decreased or increased over the past year, 75.8 percent of respondents said it had decreased and only 8.6 percent said it had increased, while 13.8 said their confidence in the policies hasn’t changed and 1.8 percent said they had no idea or didn’t respond.

“Not only opposition voters but also the majority of government voters have lost their confidence in the economic policies of the government,” Özer said, with the poll showing that the confidence in economic policies of 36.4 percent of AKP voters had decreased in 2021.

The survey revealed that 50.7 percent of voters for the far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), an election ally of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s AKP, also said their confidence in the government’s economic policies had decreased in the past year.

The same figure increased to 100, 97.6, 97.4 and 92.4 percent among voters of the Islamist Felicity Party (SP), the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), and the nationalist İYİ (Good) Party, respectively.

When it comes to undecided voters, 79.8 percent stated that their confidence in the AKP’s economic policies had declined in 2021, the poll showed.

Data from the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat) also revealed last week that the country’s economic confidence index tumbled 1.8 percent month-on-month in December to 97.6 points, the lowest figure since May.

The results of the survey and the index come after Erdoğan on Dec. 20 unveiled an emergency plan to help the Turkish currency curb losses which stipulates that the country’s treasury will make up for losses incurred by holders of lira deposits should the lira’s declines against hard currencies exceed bank interest rates.

The instrument will apply for individuals holding lira deposit accounts with maturities of between three and 12 months. The minimum interest rate will be the central bank’s benchmark rate, and no withholding tax will be deducted.

Although the president’s announcement sparked a sharp 50 percent rally in the lira against the US dollar, the currency then sank again last week, closing at 13.1875 on Friday.

The lira, by far the worst performer in emerging markets in 2021, as well as in the last few years, which lost 44 percent of its value against the US currency over the year, tumbled 5 percent on Monday, weakening as far as 13.92 against the dollar.

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