Army ‘most trusted institution in Turkey’

Army ‘most trusted institution in Turkey’

Istanbul’s Kadir Has University conducts an opinion public poll each year to determine Turkey’s economic, political and social trends.

They announced on Jan. 15 the findings of 2019 – the 10th they conducted so far. Having the same poll each year uninterruptedly for the past 10 years is an effort that deserves an applause.

One of the key findings of this year’s poll is the restoration of trust in the Turkish Armed Forces.

The Turkish army had suffered a serious blow in 2016 due to the failed coup attempt. Yet only a month later it started the first of the three major cross-border operations into Syria.

Operation Euphrates Shield was followed by “Operation Olive Branch” in 2018 and then by “Operation Peace Spring” in 2019.

This year’s poll has revealed that with 60 percent of the votes, the Turkish Armed Forces is the most trusted institution in Turkey, topping the list this year.

The Turkish Armed Forces was followed by the gendarmerie and the police. The presidency came forth with 49.8 percent.

Trust in the judiciary comes ninth with 43.2 percent. Interestingly, with 43.3 percent, the Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet) is trusted slightly more than the judiciary.

Nearly half of the respondents stand supporting Turkey’s military operations abroad, with support levels at around 45 percent. But there is a steady drop in the support for having soldiers in foreign countries.

The support level dropped from 48 percent in 2017 to 40.7 percent in 2018 to 37.9 percent in 2019.

There are interesting findings about the perceptions on political leaders.

Some 45.8 percent of the respondents said they find President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan successful, a rise from last year’s 38.9 percent. There is a similar rising trend for the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, with 28.5 percent, a rise from last year’s 20.6.

But CHP voters are not happy with their own leader, as only 59 percent of CHP voters said they find him successful, while last year that figure was at 70 percent. This shows that Kılıçdaroğlu is appreciated more by his rivals than his supporters.

Conducted in November 2019 with 1,000 people in 26 cities, the poll included questions about the mayors in three cities. Some 39 percent of the respondents said they find Istanbul’s mayor, Ekrem İmamoğlu, successful. With 93 percent, he receives the biggest appreciation from İYİ (Good) Party, which the CHP had made an alliance with.

CHP and HDP voters’ appreciation of İmamoğlu is around 66 percent. So far, the majority of those who voted for him seem to be happy with his performance. Only 10 percent of AK Party voters find him successful.

While only 15 percent of Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) voters finds İmamoğlu successful, the situation changes completely when it comes to Ankara, as Mansur Yavaş is seen to be successful by 70 percent of MHP voters.

This might be understandable, as Yavaş, who entered the municipal elections as a CHP candidate, was originally from the MHP. But Yavaş seems to have garnered an across-the-board support: 80 percent of İYİ Party voters and 80 percent of voters of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) said they find him successful. He managed to draw the appreciation of at least 32 percent of the AK Party. When it comes to his own new party, only 66 percent of CHP voters said they find him successful.

Another important finding of the poll is about the need for new political parties, as there are efforts by former AK Party members to start new political movements.

Nevertheless, nearly 60 percent of the respondents said there is no need for a new party.