Turkish ruling party hurt after closure case: Poll

Support for Turkey's ruling AK Party has fallen following a prosecutor's bid to seek the closure of the party for alleged Islamist activities, an opinion poll showed on Friday.

Turkish ruling party hurt after closure case: Poll
The European Union candidate country has been locked in a political crisis since a chief prosecutor asked the Constitutional Court last month to shut down the Justice and Development Party (AK Party), sending financial markets lower.

The AK Party denies the charges and has said the case is politically motivated and goes contrary to Turkish democracy.

The survey, by A&G Research and published in liberal daily Radikal, showed that support for the AK Party stood at 34.4 percent compared with 47 percent when it won a parliamentary election last July.

The main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) also saw its support fall to 16 percent compared with 21 percent in last year's election. The survey showed that 22.9 percent supported no party, would vote blank or were undecided.

The poll claimed that 41.7 percent of people interviewed blamed the AK Party for the current political tension while 35.2 percent blamed the staunchy secular CHP.

The survey -- conducted April 5-6 with 1,453 respondents -- also showed that 48.8 percent would oppose changing the constitution to make it harder to close parties down, while 43.5 percent would support such a move.

But a poll last week in daily Yeni Safak, conducted by the Genar agency, showed 66 percent of respondents were against the closure case and that support for the AK Party had risen.

Turkey's top court agreed last week to take up the case, which also seeks to ban 71 party officials, including Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan and the president, from politics for five years.

Erdogan said on Thursday he would not rule out changing the constitution, which dates from an era of military rule, to stop his party from being closed down. He said his party would focus on defending itself in the court case but also seek to win opposition support for a way out of the crisis.

The Constitutional Court says the case could take six to seven months to conclude, raising the possibility of prolonged political instability.

Last Mod: 11 Nisan 2008, 15:19
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