Majority of Turks oppose military coups

Majority of Turks oppose military coups

Ömer Şahin ANKARA - Radikal
Majority of Turks oppose military coups

A tank is seen in front of the Turkish Parliament after the Sept 12, 1980 coup. Hürriyet photo

Four out of every five Turkish citizens are against the idea of the military taking over the administration “under any circumstances,” a recent survey has revealed. 

According to the poll by MetroPoll Research Company, which surveyed 1209 respondents in 27 cities, some 79 percent said they would never approve a military coup, while only 17 percent said they would.

A bigger majority, 82 percent, said they believed past coups were harmful to the country, while only 11 percent said they had been useful.

Turkey has seen the country’s military take over the government three times over the course of its 89 year history and none of these coups caused a public backlash. The Constitution offered to referendum by Sept. 12, 1980 military coup leaders received approval by 90 percent of the public.

But public opinion seems to have changed now, with 66 percent of the respondents saying they would resist the army on the streets in the event of a coup attempt. 

The poll found out that sympathy for military coups is more prevalent among supporters of the Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP). Some 25 percent of the CHP and the MHP supporters approved of the previous coups, while only 11 percent of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) voters said they supported the coups. 

Just over 67 percent of Turkish people said they thought the trial of coup leaders and perpetrators was “right and necessary.” The number climbs up to 81 percent among AKP supporters, but drops to 50 percent when it comes to the CHP voters and 46 percent among MHP supporters. 

More than 77 percent of the participants believe the era of military coups is over in Turkey and that there will never be a coup again, while 14 says another coup is possible. 

The survey found that 23 percent of respondents consider the 1980 coup as “true and lawful,” but 61 percent of the respondents said the coup was wrong. Only 56 percent said 1980 coup leaders Kenan Evren and Tahsin Şahinkaya should be put on trial. 

The survey also asked if the respondents approved of the way top politicians conducted their duties. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan received an approval rating of 70 percent, well above the ratio of AKP supporters. The approval rating of CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu was 24 percent, with only a 43 percent approval among CHP supporters.