World Bulletin / News Desk
A recent poll has suggested that most people in Turkey see the December 17 anti-graft operation, which saw the arrest of dozens of ruling AK Party loyalists arrested on corruption and bribery charges, as a conspiracy against Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s administration.
The poll conducted by Turkey’s YeniSafak newspaper was taken between January 4-8 across 25 provinces in Turkey, with a sample size of 3,738 people. The findings show that 53% believe the operation was organized by the Hizmet Movement, the country’s most influential lobby, which is led by religious figure Fethullah Gulen from his headquarters in the US.
Gulen, along with his followers, have been accused of trying to set up a rival ‘parallel state’ in Turkey. The poll found that 68.6% of participants felt that this was the case. 44.4% also believed that the conspiracy was organized with the support of foreign forces.
When asked about the reshuffling of senior officers in the police force, 51% answered that the changes were necessary, while 29% felt that it was a wrong move. However, when it comes to the controversial subject of closing down prep schools in the country, which is believed to be the reason behind the split between the AK Party and former ally Fethullah Gulen, 45.4% agreed they should be closed whereas 46.2% disagreed. Followers of Fethullah Gulen have been particularly upset by the decision to transform prep schools into private schools, as they claim they are unable to make the change, meaning that the Hizmet Movement would lose a bulk of its income.
Overall, 68.6% said that they were aware of some kind of conspiracy, while 13% said they were not aware. The remaining 18.4% denied the conspiracy.
The poll was carried out in Turkey’s following provinces: Adana, Ankara, Antalya, Aydin, Balikesir, Bursa, Diyarbakir, Erzurum, Gaziantep, Giresun, Hatay, Istanbul, Izmir, Kayseri, Kirikkale, Kocaeli, Konya, Malatya, Manisa, Mardin, Samsun, Tekirdag, Trabzon, Van and Zonguldak. All information was collected via face-to-face interviews.Last Mod: 10 Ocak 2014, 17:29