In Turkey, four elections have been held in the past two years and these elections were all critical for the future of Turkish democracy. First, local elections were held after the coup attempts on Dec. 17 and Dec. 25.
Then, the presidential elections, which were held for the first time by popular vote, were followed by two general elections on June 7 and Nov. 1 last year.
After the Nov. 1 general elections, research institute GENAR's comprehensive and highly representative survey, which is composed of one hundred 100 questions posed to 5,000 people residing in 36 cities, reflects the curious picture that has emerged since the last general elections.
GENAR's research demonstrates that the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) is increasing its share of votes and the CHP is conserving its electoral status, while both the MHP and the HDP continue to lose votes.
One of the most interesting details in the results of the study regard the question of the presidential system.
Research demonstrates that popular support for the presidential system has increased from 45 percent to 55 percent.
Regarding Turkey's transition from the parliamentary to the presidential system, each one of the three supporters of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and each one of four supporters of the Republican People's Party (CHP) expressed positive opinions.
In a similar vein, the number of those expressing that they may vote for the AK Party increased to 55 percent, with 45 percent of voters indicating that they will definitely not vote for the ruling party.
The extension of the electorate that might vote for the AK Party positively influenced data numbers according to the research.
Popular support for the military operations being organized against the PKK in the southeastern regions of Turkey have increased from 70 percent to 85 percent, with 25 percent of the electorate that voted for the HDP approving of the state policies targeting the PKK.
Regarding the terrorism plaguing the region, another question directed at voters has demonstrated that 50 percent of participants believe that the PKK commits terrorist activities with intent to divide the country, while 20 percent of people argue that the PKK assists the restructuring of foreign powers.
Only 17 percent of people are convinced that the PKK is fighting for the rights of the Kurdish people.
Similarly, between 20 and 30 percent of the participants in the Kurdish electorate emphasize the respective divisions in the country, the misaligned structuring of foreign powers as the main features of the PKK's terror campaign in the southeast, demonstrating that people in the region have gradually distanced themselves from the theses of the PKK and the HDP.
The HDP's politicians who constantly talk about the violation of human rights in the southeastern regions – which they indicate have persisted for the last 30 years – are openly supporting terrorist activities without claiming human rights in the poor Kurdish neighborhoods where they could easily secure a support base.
As a result of all the research and surveys; moreover, it is typically evident that 60 percent of the general electorate and 90 percent of the Kurdish electorate continue to support the resolution process regarding the Kurdish question.
In short, our latest research demonstrates that the AK Party is increasing its share of votes and the majority of people support the transition from a parliamentary to a presidential system.
Also, the Kurdish people residing in the southeastern regions disapprove both the PKK's terror and the HDP's anti-democratic politics.
About the author
İhsan Aktaş is Chairman of the Board of GENAR Research Company. He is an academic at the Department of Communication at Istanbul Medipol University.