Erdoğan’s Persistent Popularity - Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
On the eve of early parliamentary and presidential elections on June 24, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan appears poised to claim yet another victory, with enduring popularity even beyond Turkey’s borders. What is more surprising is that Erdoğan managed to sustain his appeal in the face of Turkey’s growing authoritarianism and rapidly deteriorating human rights record.
A recent survey sheds some empirical light on the various dynamics that underlie Erdoğan’s regional popularity, with notable implications for the relationship between religion and politics.1 The survey data show Erdoğan’s popularity is particularly strong among some segments of the population. Respondents who ideologically self-identified as Islamist, favored a prominent role for religious leaders in politics, and considered religion to be important in their lives trusted Erdoğan the most as an authority on religious matters. By contrast, respondents with a college education or who had a monthly income over $1,000 were less likely to trust Erdoğan.