Only 6 percent of people in eastern and southeastern Turkey support the plan for self-autonomous rule proposed by senior figures of the PKK terrorist organization and backed by Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) officials, according to figures released by MAK Consulting Company on Monday.
In the phone survey carried out in 16 provinces of the region, including Diyarbakır, Mardin, Van and Şanlıurfa, with 1,521 people interviewed between Sept. 12 and Sept. 16, participants were asked whether they support self-autonomy in the region and 44 percent of them responded negatively. Of them, 30 percent also think that such type of rule constitutes "separatism."
Mayors of several provinces in eastern Turkey, including Van, Şırnak, Mardin, Batman, Hakkari, Muş and Diyarbakır, have allegedly claimed self-rule in August. While numerous co-mayors, who have been charged with making self-autonomy claims, were either detained or arrested. Both HDP members and their fellow members from the Democratic Regions Party (DBP), which is the HDP's regional affiliate, have made poignant remarks on the issue as well.
On Aug. 20, DBP Co-Chair Emine Ayna indicated that her party will continue to resist via armed struggle and said: "When we carried out our work, we said we were not going to work in accordance with Ankara, but with our people, and we were elected."
Moreover, Diyarbakır Co-Mayor Gültan Kışanak from the DBP, has advocated self-rule claims as carrying legitimacy, saying: "If the state detains my district mayor, then I also promulgate self-rule. The self-rule demand of these people is a political demand."
When asked in the same survey about what kind of a government will come from the upcoming Nov. 1 elections, 45 percent of participants said the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) will garner the winning majority for a single-party government; only 15 percent think that a coalition government without the AK Party is possible.
According to the survey, 21.5 percent of participants also said they will cast their vote for a different party in the upcoming elections than the one they voted for in the June 7 election.
The PKK recently changed the tactics it had applied with its Syrian wing Democratic Union Party's (PYD) People's Protection Units (YPG) during clashes with the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) terrorists in Syria. The group is preparing for clashes in cities. The aim of this strategy is thought by many as an attempt to make it difficult for the government to keep public order and ensure the safety of civilians.
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