Saturday, 20 July 2024
Konya: Will there be a shift in votes in AKP's stronghold?

Konya: Will there be a shift in votes in AKP's stronghold?

Konya has had conservative and sensitive voters for many years. A big surprise is not expected in the presidential election, but it is a matter of curiosity about how many deputies each party will have.

In Konya, known as one of the strongholds and most powerful provinces of AKP, no big surprises are expected in the presidential election on May 14th. However, in terms of the distribution of parliamentary seats, it is predicted that the ruling party may lose some votes in the province where the most significant problem for the people, as is the case across Turkey, is the economic crisis.

Konya, Turkey's province with the largest surface area, has had conservative and sensitive voters for many years. The voters first identified with the National Vision line and Welfare Party, and later found themselves in the AKP, usually voting in line with this ideology during elections.

In the 2018 general elections, AKP received 59.4% of the votes in Konya, MHP received 15.5%, CHP received 9.7%, IYI Party received 9%, and HDP received 3.7% of the votes. In the same year's presidential election, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan received 74.2% of the votes, while Muharrem Ince received 13.7%.

Konya is considered the country's agricultural hub, but in recent years it has also shifted towards industrial production, and its most significant problem is the current economic crisis. Whether this situation will change in the upcoming election in Konya is uncertain, as it depends on various factors, including the political climate, candidates, and their campaign strategies, as well as the economic situation in the country. However, given Konya's history of conservative and sensitive voters, it is likely that the ruling party will still have a significant influence on the province's election results.

Will this situation change in Konya, which is considered as the country's agricultural hub but has shifted towards industrial production in recent years and is currently facing the biggest problem of the economic crisis, for the upcoming elections?

According to the information obtained by "DW Turkısh" from interviews with politicians, journalists, opinion leaders, and citizens in Konya, as well as their observations in the city, the situation is that AKP and the People's Alliance are still ahead in the race, but they may lose some votes.

It is noted that the People's Alliance's list of parliamentary candidates is not as strong as before, and it is generally emphasized that the gap between the President and the parliamentary elections could widen further this time. Erdogan has a higher vote share than his party not only in Konya but also throughout Turkey.

Kerem Iskan, one of the well-known figures in the city who has been working as a journalist in the region for many years, says, "If we consider Konya as one of the strongholds of the AKP, we expect the fortress to be subjected to such a tough test for the first time."

While the economic situation is shown as the city's most important problem, it is also stated that the issue of migration and refugees may have an impact on voting behavior.

According to the public opinion survey conducted by DOUSAM Strategic Research Center in January, it is striking that 73.4 percent of the individuals who participated in the survey in Konya stated that the economy has been following a negative trend compared to previous years when asked to compare the current economic situation in Turkey.

According to a public opinion poll conducted by DOUSAM Strategic Research Center in January, when asked to compare the current economic situation of Turkey to previous years, 73.4% of the participants from Konya stated that the economy has been following a negative trend. Regarding Turkey's future economic situation, 66.2% of the participants were pessimistic, while 16.4% were optimistic.

An inflation rate is one of the major concerns in the city, but also the high demand and the high rental prices for houses, as well as the difficulty in finding available houses for rent. Another issue is the lack of a metro system, which makes transportation increasingly challenging for residents.

Among the people of Konya, the most favored promises or actions of the parties are the recent defense industry moves of the government, the natural gas aid to be provided up to a certain percentage, and the 15,000 TL bonus that the presidential candidate of the Nation Alliance, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, promised to retirees for Eid al-Adha.

I am having a conversation with a taxi driver whom I am riding with about how the election will turn out. Despite struggling economically, the taxi driver says that he will still vote for Erdoğan, and he likes recent moves like TOGG. He also says that if the opposition didn't just criticize and instead supported the government a bit, they might have a chance to win more votes.

While Turkey is considered the granary of the region, the lack of obtaining the desired product due to wrong crop selection and unwise use of underground waters has become a significant problem. Therefore, Kılıçdaroğlu's promises regarding agriculture are also among the topics discussed.

According to the effects of drought and wrong agricultural policies, the underground waters in the Konya Plain, which was the wheat depot of the country in the 1980s, are gradually decreasing, and as a result, the number of sinkholes in the region has reached 2,600.