Ankara, Aug 2 (EFE) .- The controversial decision to convert Hagia Sophia from Istanbul into a mosque, after 86 years as a secular museum, has had no impact on support for the President of Turkey, the Islamist Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who sees as its popularity continues to decline.
According to an opinion poll of the Avrasya Research Company, collected today by local media, only 0.2% of respondents indicated that this measure has influenced their intention to vote for the AKP, Erdogan’s party, which It has governed Turkey since 2002.
At the same time, only 0.1% indicated that the conversion of the monument into a mosque will make it vote for the opposition.
Thus, 99.7% of those surveyed stated that the opening of Hagia Sophia to prayer has not changed their intention to vote.
That lack of impact of the controversial decision collides with what some experts believe was Erdogan’s intention: to win support among the most conservative and nationalist sectors to curb his loss of support.
“The decision on Hagia Sophia was simply an attempt to stop the loss of support for Erdogan and his AKP. But it may not have had the effect that he expects,” Tarik Sengül, professor of political science at the Technical University of the East, explained today. Medium, in Ankara.
According to the survey, 46.8% of Turks would not vote for Erdogan if he ran for the next presidential elections, scheduled for 2023, compared to 38.9% who would and the 14.3% shown undecided.
Those figures mark a sharp decline in support for the Islamist politician, from the 67% he had after the frustrated coup d’état he suffered in the summer of 2016, and from the 45% he still had at the beginning of the year.
The AKP does remain the party with the most intention to vote, 35%, although more than five points below the January figure.
The economy, unemployment and the cost of living are the main concerns of the Turks, according to that survey.
(c) EFE Agency