As the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) continues its rejuvenation process in full swing and stresses the role of young people in the party, a recent study by the AK Party's research and development department has found that youth interest in the AK Party has increased.According to the study, while the rate of young people between the ages of 18 and 24 who voted for the AK Party was 43.9 percent in 2003, the rate has increased to 51 percent in 2017.
The people who vote most for the AK Party are from the 25 to 44 age group. Commenting on the research, AK Party Vice Chairman Hamza Dağ said that "these numbers show that the 18 to 24 age group will continue to vote for the AK Party when they will be in the higher age group."
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan returned to his party on May 21 with the constitutional changes approved in the April 16 referendum, and has repeatedly emphasized the need to rejuvenate the party and urged party members to accelerate efforts for the upcoming 2019 elections. Erdoğan stressed that party officials who have lost enthusiasm or feel tired should step down. As part of the rejuvenation and preparations for the 2019 elections, some party members and mayors of key provinces have resigned.
Erdoğan called for an increased role of young people in the party, and in line with this, young people were appointed as aides for members of the Central Decision Executive Board (MKYK). Yasemin Atasever, 23, a member of the MKYK, is the top aide of AK Party Deputy Chairman Hayati Yazıcı. Rümeysa Kadak, a 20-year-old MKYK member, is one of the top aides for Harun Karacan, the AK Party deputy chairman in charge of civil society and public relations.
Meanwhile, in an effort to reveal voter preferences, Ankara's Objective Research Center (ORC) also conducted a survey from Nov. 9 to Nov. 12 in 36 provinces with the participation of 2,674 people. In the survey, 61.7 percent of participants said they trust Erdoğan and 57 percent said they would vote for Erdoğan if a presidential election were held on Sunday, while 3.4 percent of participants said they would vote for Republican People's Party (CHP) Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu. When asked which party they would vote for if elections were held in a week, 48.9 said they would vote for the AK Party, 23.9 percent said they would vote for the CHP and 10.2 percent said they would vote for the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).
As the 10 percent election threshold has been widely discussed by politicians recently, the survey also asked participants about opinions on decreasing the election threshold – 39.4 percent said it should be lower, 47.1 percent said it should not and 13.5 percent said they did not know.
When participants who vote for the AK Party were asked about the reason for their choice, 98.4 percent said they vote because they favor the party leader and the party's performance.
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