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Majority of Turks want to live in a democratic, secular country: survey

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At a time when there are growing concerns about the backsliding of democracy and the secular order in Turkey, an overwhelming majority of the country’s people have said they would prefer to live in a democratic and secular country, the results of an opinion survey have shown.

When asked, “In what kind of a country would you like to live?” 72.9 percent of respondents of the survey, conducted by the Ankara-based Metropoll company, said they would like to live in a democratic and secular country.

A majority of supporters of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and its far-right ally, the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), also want to live in a democratic and secular country — 57.8 percent of AKP voters and 74.5 percent of MHP voters.

Metropoll regularly conducts surveys and ask people their views on a range of subjects. These findings were part of the “Turkey’s Pulse” survey conducted in May.

The results are surprising for some because the AKP and its ally, the MHP, are accused by critics of destroying Turkey’s democracy and secular principles.

President and AKP leader Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, in particular, has attracted widespread criticism for silencing dissent, jailing his critics and pursuing policies that are considered an interference in people’s lifestyles.

A total of 90.1 percent of main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) supporters said they want to live in a democratic and secular country.

Fully 31.3 percent of AKP supporters told pollsters they would like to live under a conservative and authoritarian government, while this figure was 18.6 percent among MHP voters.

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