Bekir Ağırdır, Research General Manager of public opinion polling and consultancy KONDA, explains to Turkish media website T24 the reasons why the conservatives are breaking away from the ruling Justice and Development Party, AKP.
Ağırdır said that the inauthenticity of politicians and their discourse that demonizes the opposition are the reasons for this divergence.
“For all these reasons, there is a state of consolidation amongst the secularists, but there is a dissolution amongst the conservatives.” Ağırdır compared this dissolution not as a melting but rather as a cracking away of large ice floes.
“If we recall the colourful map that appears before us during every election, we clearly see three different political arenas. The AKP-MHP coalition along the Black Sea and Anatolia, the opposition party, CHP supporters along the coast, and the pro-Kurdish party HDP in the southeast. Each of these spectrums have their own needs and demands. But our main problem is the lack of understanding of all these spectrums from an intellectual as well as a political standpoint. Politicians accept this polarization as data and are satisfied with their perspective.”
Ağırdır said that seeing it from a political and electoral perspective is not enough, “We need to consider it from the top. There are other dynamics of change we can see. Society’s lifestyle is also changing.
“We are entering a world where everything is changing with migration towards the cities. [People] are acting withdrawn with all the polarization and media-driven language, but communication begins along with proximity. We see that our neighbours from ‘the other side’ in fact have the same needs as we do, thereby halting discrimination. Despite this, these changes affect quality of life and perspectives, first with individuals , then within groups.”