Support for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) hit an all-time low last month as the public loses faith with Ankara’s management of the ailing economy, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday.
Bloomberg cited Can Selçuki, head of Istanbul-based pollster Turkiye Raporu, who said that Erdoğan’s sacking of the central bank governor in March was a breaking point for voters.
Erdoğan sacked Naci Ağbal after less than five months in the job, reportedly over policy disagreements, prompting the struggling Turkish lira to drop more than 16 percent in early morning trading following the news. The lira has since sunk further to record lows.
Up to 27 percent of Turks cannot meet their basic needs, according to a monthly public survey for April by pollster Metropoll Research.
The same pollster also reported in April thatthe AKP is now at 27 percent, excluding undecided voters, the lowest by the ruling party since its establishment.
“A combination of runaway inflation, high unemployment and coronavirus measures have been chipping away at the ruling party’s voter base, according to political polling companies,’’ Bloomberg said, noting that opposition lawmakers have accused the AKP of mishandling the economy and depleting foreign currency reserves during the reign of former finance minister and Erdoğan’s son-in-law Berat Albayrak.
It is the perception of mismanagement of the economy and the opposition’s campaigns on central bank reserves that are leading the erosion in support for the AKP, according to Özer Sencar, head of Metropoll.
“The opposition needs to convince those people that they can manage the country better, but there is still no candidate for this in sight,” Sencar said.