Turkey growing increasingly polarized: German Marshall Fund study

Turkey growing increasingly polarized: German Marshall Fund study

Turkey growing increasingly polarized: German Marshall Fund study

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Turkey has grown increasingly polarized as party preferences have begun to determine the fate of relationships between people with different political backgrounds and opinions, according to a new study.

A study of societal polarization in the country revealed that more than three-quarters of Turks do not wish to have neighbors whose political stance widely diverges from their own.

Some 83 percent of Turks do not want their children to marry those whose parents have different a political stance or whose party is distant from theirs, according to research conducted by the Infacto Research Workshop with the support of the German Marshall Fund (GMF), a leading think tank based in the United States.

Some 73 percent of research participants said they do not wish to engage in any business with people whose political stance is greatly different than theirs.

In terms of party profile, some 65 percent of ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) voters said the party furthest from their worldview was the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP). Some 61 percent of main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) voters selected the AKP on the same question. 

For HDP supporters, the party seen as most distant was the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), while supporters of the latter correspondingly identified the HDP as the party furthest from its line at 65 percent. 

Overall, 44 percent of study participants saw the HDP as the “most distant” party from their political stance.

The HDP is followed by the ruling AKP at 22 percent and the MHP at 7 percent. The political party seen by the participants as the “least distant” was the CHP.  

The research also revealed that the social segment who feels most alienated from society are Kurdish-origin citizens.

Meanwhile, 44 percent of AKP voters say they feel “satisfied” with Turkey’s current situation, while just 21 percent of CHP voters said the same. Only 7 percent of HDP voters said they were satisfied with Turkey’s present situation.

Some 73 percent of AKP voters said the country had made progress in economic terms, with 57 percent saying the economic well-being of their families had improved in recent years, according to the study.

In contrast, just 6 percent of CHP voters said the economic well-being of their families had improved.
Daily Hürriyet stood out as the most read newspaper in Turkey, according to the study. Only two dailies,

Hürriyet and Posta, were identified as newspapers that many voters of all political parties read in common.

The research was conducted as part of a project of the Corporate Social Responsibility Association of Turkey between Dec. 3 and Dec. 10, 2015, with face-to-face interviews with 1,024 participants.