Turkey Political Poll

Article published on June 9, 2008
Article published on June 9, 2008
A political poll commissioned by the Swiss bank Credit Suisse depicts a discernible level of fallout from the tumult, which has surrounded Turkey's governing AK Party. According to the poll conducted by A&G Research, support for the AKP has fallen to 39.7% from a mid-summer 2007 election result of 47%.

If there is indeed truth to the findings of this poll, their most significant message is not that the AKP is losing support among the Turkish public, but rather which political group is benefiting from this slide. Turkey's right-wing nationalist MHP has apparently improved its standing by three percentage points to 17.1%. Also of note, Turkey's mainstream secular party, the CHP, continues to lose ground.

Baykal.jpgAs this Bosphorus Watch post from several months ago demonstrates, there is little surprise that Turkey is experiencing a shift toward the right and nationalism. In addition to the link between an economic downturn and nationalism, it is equally significant that the CHP has been unable fill the small void left by the AKP. The secularist party’s failure to generate traction among Turkish voters is most likely due to its particularly stale vision. There is little about the CHP that is fresh or that represents a radical departure other than its steady dose of reactionary squabbling with the AKP. In this respect, the sacking the CHP’s long-time leader, Deniz Baykal, would be a good first step toward creating momentum for the secularist cause.