The Cradle
Polls show over half of Turkish voters would not re-elect Erdogan
Skyrocketing prices and a weakened currency have caused widespread discontent against the incumbent president one year ahead of presidential elections
By News Desk - June 06 2022
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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the Grand National Assembly of Turkey in Ankara, 21 April, 2021. (Photo credit: AFP)

Opinion polls carried out by Europe Elects in the month of May show that, if elections were to be held in Turkey today, at least 55 percent of voters would cast their ballots in favor of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP).

Meanwhile, polls carried out by the Eurasia Public Research Center (AKAM) between 26 May and 1 June show President Recep Tayyip Erdogan losing by a significant margin to three potential CHP candidates.

These results show Erdogan, the head of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), being defeated by each potential rival – CHP leader Kemal Kiliçdaroglu, Istanbul Mayor Ekrem Imamoglu and Ankara Mayor Mansur Yavas, both also from the CHP.

During the previous elections, held in June 2018, the AKP won 42.6 percent of the vote. However, their popularity has been slipping as Turkey faces a major financial crisis.

On 6 June, the Turkish currency slid past 16 liras to the US dollar, bringing its losses to more than 20 percent this year just days after inflation hit a 24-year high.

At the start of June, authorities raised natural gas and electricity prices for the second time this year

Turkey’s currency woes come largely as a result of Erdogan’s unorthodox economic policy of drastic interest rate cuts.

According to Turkish media, Finance Minister Nureddin Nebati told AKP deputies over the weekend that a near-term rate hike or cut was not being considered.

“We chose to grow with inflation. Otherwise, we could have taken very drastic measures to reduce inflation. We would raise interest rates. Production would then cease,” Nebati reportedly told the deputies.

He went on to predict that annual inflation for 2022 would stand around 49 percent, falling to 19.9 percent by the end of 2023. Nebati had earlier promised single-digit inflation ahead of general elections set for June 2023.