ANKARA — The latest opinion poll conducted by Themis in Turkey has recorded a decline in the popularity of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, his Justice and Development Party (AKP), as well public opinion about the presidential system the country adopted in 2018 at Erdoğan’s behest.
The survey consisted of 2,402 respondents from 67 of Turkey’s 81 provinces.
The poll showed a clear decline in the popularity of Erdoğan, especially in comparison to rival and mayor of Istanbul Ekrem İmamoğlu.
According to the study, 48.1% or respondents want to return to the previous parliamentary system with 33% wanting to keep the current presidential system.
Turkey has been gripped by a sharp economic downturn following the governments mismanagement of the national economy and constant campaigns against political opponents.
The Turkish Lira has devalued to an all-time low against the U.S. Dollar, with the current exchange rate at 7.92 TRY to 1 USD. Analysts expect that it could drop as low as 8 to 1 by the end of the year.
The widespread campaign against Erdoğan political opponents has hollowed out the country’s civil society. Prominent Turkish businessman and human rights activist Osman Kavala, originally arrested for involvement in protests in 2013, remains in police custody.
Acquitted in February on the protest charged charges, Kavala was immediately re-arrested for alleged involvement in the 2016 coup that sought to oust Erdoğan. No significant evidence has been presented by the government that Kavala was involved in any way with the 2016 coup attempt.
On Tuesday, Turkish police arrested dozens more of people, most of them soldiers on military duty, on the suspicion of being supporters of Fethullah Gülen, the Islamic scholar and preacher whom the government accuses of being behind the 2016 coup attempt.