Erdoğan not going anywhere in near future – analyst

Despite Turkey’s economic and social woes, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) are likely to remain in power in the near future, Middle East expert Simon Waldman wrote for financial news website P.A. Turkey on Sunday.

Erdoğan’s and AKP’s popularity has waned, but the ruling party remains the most popular, with 34.3 percent support according to a recent poll, the Istanbul Policy Centre fellow wrote.

“While this represents a decrease of 8 percent since the 2018 elections, the main opposition party, the Republic People’s Party (CHP) hasn’t picked up any disenchanted voters,” he added.

Voters are shifting towards secular right wing Good Party (İYİP) and AKP breakaways Future Party (GP) and Democracy and Progress Party (DEVA), however, the delicate balance could yet benefit Erdoğan, according to Waldman.

Meanwhile Erdoğan still has an approval rating of 41 percent, and high levels of control over the media, which “has repercussions for how people vote”, he said. “Such a narrow funnel of information obviously benefits the AKP, and can become a critical influence closer to elections.”

The president and his ruling party “are not going anywhere”, Waldman said, “barring the possibility that the rumors that Erdogan’s ill-health are true”.

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