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Polls show Turkey’s opposition bloc ahead of ruling party alliance, AKP votes in decline

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The latest polls have shown Turkey’s opposition bloc ahead of the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) alliance, with the party’s votes seeing a slight decline, especially after the government was harshly criticized for its inadequate response to this month’s devastating earthquakes.

The quakes, which struck on Feb. 6, killed more than 45,000 people in Turkey. The Turkish government was mainly accused of failing to effectively coordinate search and rescue efforts and distribute sufficient tents, humanitarian aid and relief teams in several locations in the days following the disaster.

A survey conducted by ALF Research and Consulting has shown that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s Public Alliance, which includes his ruling AKP and its ally, the far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), would have lost to the country’s opposition bloc if a general election were to have been held in February.

According to the poll, which was conducted on 2,000 participants in 24 provinces between Feb. 21 and 25, 47.6 percent of respondents would have supported the parties in the opposition bloc, while 35.1 percent would have voted for the AKP-MHP alliance in a February election.

The poll showed that the ruling AKP’s vote would have stood at 29.5 percent, while its ally, the MHP, would have received only 5.6 percent of the vote, with slight declines of 1.5 and 0.5 percent, respectively, compared to the results of an ALF survey conducted on Jan. 23.

The parties in the opposition bloc would have received 47.6 percent of the vote in total, according to the poll, with the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) garnering 27.8 percent, up from 1.7 percent since Jan. 23, and the nationalist İYİ (Good) Party receiving 15.7 percent.

Another survey, titled “Turkey Monitor February Research” and conducted on 1,537 participants in 26 provinces by Aksoy Research, showed the opposition bloc’s total vote at 43.3 percent, while the AKP-MHP bloc’s vote was at 38.9 percent.

 

The AKP, which has lost 2.4 percent of the vote since December, according to Aksoy Research, would have garnered 32.1 percent of the vote in a February election and its ally would have received 6.8 percent.

The survey further showed that the parties in the opposition bloc, the CHP, the İYİ (Good) Party, the Democracy and Progress Party (DEVA), the Future Party (GP) and the Felicity Party (SP) would have garnered between 27.3 percent and 0.7 percent of the vote.

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 by critics of establishing one-man rule in the country, engaging in massive corruption and using the state’s resources for the benefit of his family and cronies while the Turkish people are overwhelmed by the increasing cost of living caused by the depreciation of the Turkish lira and inflation, which was at a two-decade high of 85 percent last year before it slowed to 58 percent in January.

The AKP government also 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.

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