Vast majority of attendees at pro-democracy rallies in Ankara trust president

Published 11.08.2016 22:38

Recent research analysis by the Ankara Social Sciences University has revealed that 95 percent of those at democracy watches that took part in the survey primarily trust President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, followed the government, at 84 percent. Democracy watches have been held every night since the bloody July 15 coup attempt by the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ). They came to an end on Wednesday night. The pro-democracy events were held every night in various cities and towns following President Erdoğan's call to "claim the streets." The crowds waved Turkish flags and sang patriotic songs in an all-too familiar occasion that continued into the early hours of the morning. The democracy rallies, which have been happening across Turkey for 27 days, were also attended by a number of politicians and academics as well as singers and actors.

Thousands of citizens gathered in Istanbul's Taksim Square as well as in the districts of Kısıklı, Saraçhane, Zeytinburnu and Bayrampaşa while citizens in Ankara mainly gathered in Ankara's Kızılay Square as well as outside the Presidential Palace in Ankara every night since July 15. While the rallies were attended by supporters of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party), members of opposition parties as well as foreigners living in Turkey and Syrian refugees also attended the rallies. Dr. Erol Kahveci from Ankara Social Sciences University conducted a report titled, "Sociological Research on those attending the Democracy Watch" in Ankara's Kızılay Square, among 284 people from July 21–23 through random face-to-face interviews. When the participants were asked which institution is the most trustworthy, 95 percent indicated they feel that the Presidency is the most trustworthy while 84 percent indicated that they trust the government. The research also revealed strong trust for the police force with 78 percent while trust for the Turkish army saw a significant decrease at 45 percent from previous surveys where it previously reached support levels as high as 70 percent. Despite the decrease in trust towards the army, research revealed that 48 percent of participants believe that there has been no change in the army's reputation.

Though the Western media has negatively portrayed those who took to the streets on the night of the coup attempt and thereafter, this research completely and utterly dismisses this negative perception. The majority of participants stated that they took to the streets to protect democracy and prevent a coup with efforts to avoid the outcomes seen before in the wake of previous coups. Furthermore, when the participants were asked to indicate Turkey's current primary issue, FETÖ was indicated as the main issue, followed by the PKK and DAESH. Regardless of the rough days Turkey is experiencing, respondents indicated that they are hopeful for the future.

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