Ozer Sencar, the founder of MetroPOLL Research, has spoken to bianet about the company’s “Turkey’s Pulse April 2021” public survey.
Sencar has noted that there has been an 8.5-point decrease in the votes of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and said that this is mostly caused by the impoverishment of households in Turkey. All polls published since the beginning of 2021 confirm the drop in the popularity of AKP and its ally MHP. See table below.
According to the April 2021 survey, 17 percent said that they could easily meet their all needs with their current income, while 54 percent of the participants said that they could only meet their basic needs such as food and housing. Commenting on these findings, Sencar has added that the rate of those who said they could not meet their basic needs was 27 percent.
At this point, Sencar has underlined that it is the first time that this rate is in parallel with the survey of the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat). He has raised concerns that 27 percent of the society, as is shown in the MetroPOLL survey, is “going around half-starved.”
‘Only 19 percent report a change for better’
According to Sencar, the rate of those who says, “I can meet my all needs easily” has dropped from 26 percent to 17.2 percent in a year:
“The past year has seen a nearly 9-point decrease in the rate of those who say they can meet their all needs. In other words, the rate of those who can meet all types of needs has dropped by 33 percent in a year. I think this is a huge rate, this is a very significant incident. How could society get so poor in a year? This is something that can happen only in wartime.”
Sencar has noted that in addition to the mismanagement of the economy, the pandemic has also been effective in this situation:
“People have lost their jobs to a great extent, businesses have been closed, income has decreased. The aid provided by the government to the people who have incurred damages and income losses due to the pandemic is at the lowest level across the world. The aid granted by Turkey constitutes 1.5 percent of its national income. This rate is 30 percent in the US.”
Sencar has pointed out that 62 percent of the participants are of the opinion that the situation in Turkey has been deteriorating. Only 19 percent have reported a change for the better, Sencar has noted, adding, “Even the AKP supporters have been divided. Half of them think that things are getting better in Turkey, while the other half say that they are getting worse.”
‘8.5-point decrease in AKP’s votes in 3 years’
According to Sencar, the impoverishment of households have been reflected in the parties’ vote rates. He has especially attracted attention to the decrease in the rate of votes of the ruling AKP.
“In the Parliamentary elections on June 24, 2018, the AKP’s vote was 62.6 percent. But, now, without distributing the floating voters, the AKP’s vote rate is 27.1 percent,” Sencar has said and briefly added:
“Even when we distribute the floating voters proportionally, it makes 34.1 percent for the AKP. Based on this last rate, we see that the AKP’s vote rate has dropped from 42.6 percent to 34.1 percent in the last three years. So, there has been an 8.5-point decrease.
“We can easily say that with the deterioration of the economic condition and impoverishment, there has been a decrease in the voter support for the AKP with a high correlation.” (HA/SD)
The mismanagement of Covid-19 and rising poverty also struck Erdogan’s approval ratings, which dropped to 2020-2021 low of 44% in April. With the exception of pro-AKP survey agency Optimar, all polls published in March-April report that Erdogan would lose a presidential race to CHP Ankara mayor Mr Mansur Yavas and would have his hands full, if his rival were CHP Istanbul mayor Mr Ekrem Imamoglu.
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