Economy topped Turkish voters' concerns, poll finds

Economic expectations were foremost on the minds of the overwhelming majority of Turkish voters who backed the Justice and Development Party (AKP) in last month's elections, an opinion poll published Monday suggests.

Economy topped Turkish voters' concerns, poll finds
Economic expectations were foremost on the minds of the overwhelming majority of Turkish voters who backed the Justice and Development Party (AKP) in last month's elections, an opinion poll published Monday suggests.

The survey, by the respected Konda research company for the Milliyet newspaper, found that 85.2 percent of AKP voters in the July 22 elections favored the ruling party because of "the economic situation and their expectations."

Since it first came to power in November 2002, the AKP is credited with reforms that have stabilized a fragile economy and ensured strong growth.

The AKP government has also eased access to health services, built cheap lodgings for low-income people, and granted financial assistance to poor schoolchildren.

Other motivating factors for AKP voters, according to the poll, were the need to stamp out corruption (35.9 percent) and foreign minister Abdullah Gul's bid to become president (32.5 percent).

Gul stood for the presidency in April, but a harsh secularist campaign backed by Turkey's influentual armed forces blocked his bid, prompting the snap general election July 22.

Having captured 46.5 percent of the vote, the AKP has renominated Gul, who is poised to triumph Tuesday when the AKP-dominated parliament votes in the third round of the presidential election.

Economic expectations swayed other parties' supporters as well in the general election, emerging as the most important concern overall at 76.6 percent. Ranked sixth was the future of the secular system at 11.3 percent.

The highest percentage of those who worried about the secular system - 43.8 percent - came from supporters of the main opposition Republican People's Party, which played a key role in blocking Gul's first presidential bid.

The survey was conducted among 2,734 people during August 18-19.

AFP
Last Mod: 27 Ağustos 2007, 17:18
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