40 pct of Turkey’s ruling AKP voters see decline in living standards - survey

Over 72 percent of Turkish citizens say their economic situation has taken a turn for the worse over the last year, according to a survey by leading Turkish pollster  Metropoll.

Those who said their financial situation has declined since 2021 registered at over 40 percent among supporters of the President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), the survey shared Metropoll head Özer Sencar on Twitter on Sunday found.

The survey arrives as Turkey grapples with runaway inflation, which accelerated to 78.6 percent, marking a 24-year high and the fastest rate in major emerging markets and developed economies globally. 

Soaring consumer prices have hit Turkey’s 84 million population hard, with little hope for improvement in the near future as citizens are faced with high energy and food prices and a sharply depreciated lira, which has lost 44 percent of its value in 2021 and around 24 percent this year.

In response to the question, “How have the living standards of you or your family changed in the last year?” 72.6 percent of those surveyed said it had “worsened,” while 9.9 percent said their state “improved.” Some 17.2 percent said their living standards remained the same.

Those who said their living standards had deteriorated measured 40.8 percent among AKP, while this figure measured at 58.1 percent for far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), the junior coalition partner of the AKP.

A total of 90.6 percent for the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) voters and 84.9 percent of centre-right nationalist opposition Good Party (İP) said their living standards took a hit over the past year, the survey found.

As part of his unorthodox economic policy, President Erdoğan has refused to hike interest rates in a timely manner to cool inflation and ordered the central bank to cut borrowing costs late last year, prompting the lira to plummet. That has translated into considerably less spending power for the average citizen.

Independent inflation group ENAG places Turkey’s real inflation rate at 175.55 percent in June.

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