ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) - A significant majority of Turks approved the detention of Kurdish politicians by their government in the past several months, according to a survey result announced by a Turkish university on Thursday.
The findings belonging to the last month of 2016, by the private Kadir Has University in Istanbul presented a stark political contrast between Turks and Kurds who make up the first and second biggest ethnic groups respectively in Turkey.
Of the respondents who identified as ethnically Turkish, 64 percent said they backed the detention and imprisonment of the leaders and lawmakers of the second largest opposition block, the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP).
Police arrested HDP co-chairs Selahattin Demirtas and Figen Yuksekdag in early November 2016 along with 11 other lawmakers during night raids at their homes in several cities with charges of separatism and terrorism.
Sixty-six percent of the Kurdish-identified respondents disapproved the detentions while the same number rose to 86 percent among those who said they voted for the HDP in the last general elections of November 2015.
Turkish authorities have so far released only one lawmaker, Leyla Birlik of the Sirnak Province, as not only HDP MPs but also more than 60 Kurdish mayors and about five thousand party officials remain in prison.
One thousand adults from 26 provinces from across Turkey gave their opinion on current affairs most affecting the country, as reported by the Kadir Has University website.
Another topic that Kurdish and Turkish respondents disagreed over was the now collapsed peace talks between the government and the banned Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) to end the four decades-long warfare.
Only 31 percent of Turkish voters approved a renewal of the "solution process" whereas 75 percent of Kurds demanded it in line with the former surveys.
A tentative ceasefire and peace negotiations declared in the Kurdish New Year, Newroz, of 2013 ended two years later in summer.
Political turmoil fueled by the civil war in Syria where Kurds and Turks stood at opposing sides compounded the country's long-held divisions.
The survey said those thinking Turkey faced "a threat of division" were at 37 percent, a major fall from 54 points in the previous year, as the government controlled by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan opted for a proactive, more aggressive combat strategy against the PKK both at home and abroad in Syria and Iraq.
Editing by Ava Homa