Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s Public Alliance would be victorious over the opposition bloc in a Sunday election if the latter fails to secure the support of a pro-Kurdish party, the Kronos news website reported, citing a survey conducted by the Ankara-based MetroPoll.
The results of the survey, titled “Turkey’s Pulse – October 2022” and conducted between Oct. 15 and 18 on 2,145 people in 28 provinces, were shared Friday by the pollster on social media.
When asked “Which political party would you vote for if a general election were to be held this Sunday?” 36.3 percent of respondents said they would vote for the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), while 10 percent said they would support the far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).
According to MetroPoll, the figures show the results after the proportional distribution of undecided of participants, which corresponds to 12.1 percent of the total.
While the AKP-MHP vote would have stood at 46.3 percent in total in an October election, the parties comprising the rival Nation Alliance — the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the nationalist İYİ (Good) Party — would have received 35.6 percent in total, with the CHP garnering 23.2 percent of the vote and İYİ 12.4 percent.
The pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party’s (HDP) stood at 11.9 percent, while the Democracy and Progress Party (DEVA) received 1.4 percent of the vote.
The poll showed that the AKP-MHP alliance would have left the opposition bloc behind in an October election if the opposition fails to ensure the HDP’s support.
In September, İYİ Party leader Meral Akşener ruled out a possible alliance with the HDP.
The HDP played a crucial role in the victory of the CHP mayoral candidate in İstanbul, Ekrem İmamoğlu, to win against the candidate of Erdoğan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in the local elections of 2019.
The ruling AKP, together with its ally, the far-right MHP, have long portrayed the HDP as the political front of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which is designated as a terrorist group by Turkey and much of the international community and has been waging an insurgency against the Turkish state since 1984 that has claimed tens of thousands of lives.
The party denies links to the PKK and says it is working to achieve a peaceful solution to Turkey’s Kurdish issue and is only coming under attack because of its strong opposition to President Erdoğan’s 20-year rule.
The political and legal assault on the HDP, which intensified after a truce between Kurdish militants and the AKP government broke down in 2015, grew even stronger after Erdoğan survived a coup attempt in July 2016 that was followed by a sweeping political crackdown.
The party currently faces a closure case on charges of “attempting to destroy the indivisibility between the state and the people.”
Hundreds of HDP politicians, including the party’s former co-chairs, are behind bars on terrorism charges, while most of the 65 HDP mayors elected in the predominantly Kurdish Southeast in 2019 have been replaced by government-appointed trustees.
In the last general election, held in June 2018, the AKP garnered a nationwide vote of 42.6 percent. However, public surveys have increasingly been showing the party’s public support to be slipping.
Erdoğan, whose ruling AKP has been in power as a single-party government since 2002, was elected president in 2014 and re-elected in 2018. His election in 2018 was under a presidential system as Turkey switched from a parliamentary to a presidential system of governance with a public referendum in 2017. Under the presidential system, Erdoğan is accused of establishing one-man rule, destroying the separation of powers and silencing dissent.
The AKP government launched a massive crackdown on non-loyalist citizens following a failed coup in July 2016, with thousands of people jailed on trumped-up terrorism or coup charges.