Two mayoral candidates from Turkey’s ruling party’s Konya province stronghold were shouted down by their own supporters as they tried to hold an election rally.
The Justice and Development Party’s (AK Party) Konya city mayoral candidate Ugur Ibrahim Altay and Nafiz Solak, his fellow mayoral candidate of AKP for the neighbouring town of Sarayönü, a district of Konya province, had wanted to address supporters in Sarayönü.
A group furious at seeing Solak nominated for a second term began booing and making catcalls in a bid to prevent them from speaking according to the Sozcu Daily.
A local AK Party representative tried to explain that Solak, incumbent AKP mayor of the city, was nominated as a candidate with the backing of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is also the leader of AKP. This, however, generated a roaring howl of anger in response.
Alarmed at the growing tensions between the campaigners and the angry group, the local gendarmes deployed more members to the square.
Subsequently, the campaigners left the area and there were no further tensions reported.
People’s Alliance struggle to galvanize their constituency
The AK Party and the Nationalist Movement Party are in an electoral alliance, known as the People’s Alliance, for the upcoming local government elections due to be held on March 31.
In the June 2018 parliamentary elections, the People’s Alliance garnered 82 percent of the total vote in Konya province.
Altay is also running for a second term as mayor of Konya city.