Poll Finds Journalists Not Free in Turkey

Free press protesters in Turkey

ANKARA (Hürriyet Daily News)—Nearly 50 percent of people in Turkey believe journalists and writers cannot express their opinions freely, according to a survey conducted by the MetroPOLL Strategic and Social Research Center.

Some 43 percent of respondents to the survey said journalists and writers could express their ideas freely while 7 percent said they have no idea about the issue.

The Ankara-based MetroPOLL survey company surveyed 1,532 people in 31 provinces on March 16 to 19.

Some 71.7 percent of the people surveyed said they could share their opinions freely while 26.3 percent said they could not do so.

Asked whether they would prefer a single-party government or a coalition government, some 75.3 percent of the respondents said they would prefer a single-party government while 17 percent said they favored coalition governments.

Some 45.1 percent said they supported the 10 percent election threshold to enter Parliament, while 38.8 percent opposed it and 14.9 percent said they had no idea.

The majority of respondents, 78.1 percent, said it would be normal to have a female deputy who wears a headscarf, a view with which 19.5 percent disagreed.

In response to a question about whether they found it right for suspects in the ongoing Ergenekon coup-plot case to be nominated as deputy candidates in the upcoming general election, 63.8 percent of those surveyed said they found it wrong while 19.4 percent said they found it right.

Participants were also asked whether they thought the secular lifestyle was under threat in Turkey. Some 56 percent said they thought it was not threatened while 36.9 percent said they thought it was.

Asked whether a presidential system should be applied in Turkey, some 39.6 percent said they favored the shift while 36.9 percent opposed it and 22.2.percent said they had no idea.

Some 60.5 percent of respondents said they saw the leader of the main opposition Republican People’s Party, or CHP, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, as unsuccessful while 29.4 percent said they found him to be successful.

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