Decibels and devoutness in Konya

As the political parties contesting Sunday's election make a final effort to shore up their core vote Jon Brain reports from Konya, one of the AK party's heartlands....

Photo by: TRT WORLD
Photo by: TRT WORLD

Young and old attended the Konya rally

Another day in Turkey. Another ear-splitting rally. This time it was the turn of the ancient city of Konya to host the AK Party and it's supporters.

The birthplace of the Sufi branch of Islam and of the Whirling Dervishes, Konya is an AKP stronghold. What's more, its current leader Ahmet Davutoglu was born in the nearby suburb of Taskent.  So, seemingly undeterred by the decibel levels, tens of thousands of people packed  the city's main square to wave their flags and cheer as Mr Davutoglu appealed to them to vote on Sunday.

Most didn't appear to require much persuading. Fatma Nur Tuluku, a shy 20-year-old student wearing a dark blue headscarf said she'd come to the rally because she approved of the party's Muslim character. "They stand up for people's rights" she told me. "They've done many good things for Muslims".

Fatma Nur Tuluku

According to Bilal Kuspinar, Professor of Philosophy at Konya University many of the city's residents are particularly devout, a fact which he believes explains the AK party's popularity here. "This is one of the ancient cities of Muslim civilisation" he said. "The party's traditional values go down well here". 

Professor Bilal Kuspinar

However, successfully appealing to the party's core vote is one thing. As for all the parties contesting Sunday's election, the real challenge will be winning the support of some of those voters who supported their rivals back in June.

Author: Jon Brain