Protesters clash with riot police in Istanbul, ruling AKP still leads in public opinion surveys.

By bne IntelliNews July 8, 2013

Around 4,000 protesters tried to enter Gezi Park in Istanbul on Saturday but the riot police dispersed the crowd with tear gas and water cannons. The clashes between the protesters and police around Istanbul’s Taksim Square lasted for a few hours and the police made several arrests. Even though past weeks’ massive protests have died down, the protesters still occasionally confront the police. Authorities said over the weekend that Gezi Park would reopen to the public on Monday.

Meanwhile a new post-Gezi Park protests poll showed that the ruling AKP still enjoys a strong public support, well ahead of its rivals. 50.2% of the surveyed said in a public opinion survey conducted by polling agency Genar, they would vote for the AKP in general elections while 50.8% said they would vote for AKP candidates in local elections. 27.1% of the polled said in the same survey that they would vote for the main opposition centre-left CHP in general elections and 27% said they would support CHP candidates in local elections.

Several post-Gezi polls have been released by polling agencies with very different results. ORC estimated the public support for the AKP at 44.2%, Konsensus said the AKP’s approval rating was 47%, Metropoll estimated the public support for the AKP at 35%, another polling agency Pollmark put the figure at 51%, Andy-Ar’s estimate was 48.8%, and according to a survey by ANAR the public support for the ruling party was 49%.

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