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President Erdogan’s electoral base won by disenchantment

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In the 2011 legislative elections, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) won almost 50% of the vote. Six months before the next presidential and legislative elections, scheduled for June 2023, he is only credited with 36.3% of voting intentions according to the Metropoll polling institute. Yesterday’s supporters no longer hesitate to criticize the excesses of the “Reïs” (the leader), one of the nicknames of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Also read the survey: Article reserved for our subscribers How Turkey has gone in twenty years from the AKP’s social project to the solitary power of Erdogan

“I no longer trust the AKP”, loose Alparslan (all first names have been changed), sitting on the sofa in his living room, between two sips of tea. The 24-year-old, married, father of a child, lives in the conservative district of Sultanbeyli, in Istanbul, largely won over to the party of the Turkish number one. Coming from a politically active family, he naturally supported the party as soon as he had the right to vote. Today, however, he admits his annoyance: “I voted for Erdogan in 2018 for religious reasons. I am a believer, and he was the best candidate in my eyes. But now he can no longer stem the economic crisis. »

Employed at the minimum wage (5,500 Turkish liras net, or about 285 euros) in a balloon manufacturing factory, Alparslan has to work overtime in a curtain-making workshop to support his family. “With a child at home, I had to turn on the heating for a few days. I have no idea what gas bill I’m going to have to pay at the end of the month… 1,500 pounds probably”he fears.

With a rent of 1,300 pounds, the end of the month is difficult. He did file a request with the municipal services to obtain social aid, but the examination of their situation was not considered convincing for the town hall services. “The AKP no longer exists, it’s just Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s party, says his wife, Hatice, seated next to him. He has had his day, he must leave and give way to young people who have a vision for the future., she assures, glancing at the baby who chirps on the carpet. A rare word from an electorate that is modest and generally wary of the foreign press.

“Authoritarian drift”

Barely created, the party, founded by President Erdogan and a few traveling companions, entered Parliament twenty years ago on November 3, 2002. Its political discourse revolved around the cultural revenge of Anatolia conservative on a secular, oppressive and undemocratic Kemalist establishment.

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