It looks sad, the whole wall covered with posters of AKP candidate Bilici in the city centre of Adana, (Turkey’s fifth biggest city with more then a million inhabitants, close to the Mediterranean Sea): somebody has attacked the posters with a knife. In one his eye is gone, in another his stomach is torn apart, on another poster he lacks nose or mouth or his throat has been slit. The AKP apparently didn’t have time or money to print and put up new posters, because they have repaired them with sellotape. Even from a distance you can see something is not right with Bilici.
Some people say the election contest in Adana is more exciting than ever before. For the first time in years long-sitting mayor Aytaç Durak has some opponents who actually stand a chance. But do they? Durak has been mayor for an unbroken twenty years now, and he is still popular. His grip on city politics and everything connected to it is so strong that it’s not easy to take power away from him. And it’s not the party Durak represents that makes him popular, since he changed the party he runs for every now and then. This time he is running for the ultra-nationalist MHP, but even people who would never ever vote MHP have no problem voting for Durak now. And the AKP’s Bilici is troubled by the nation-wide economic downturn, which his party is blamed for not adequately dealing with. The Adana economy thrives on agriculture, but farmers on the very fertile lands there now find it hard to get a reasonable price for their crops. By the way, there is also a CHP candidate in Adana , but he started his campaign late and is not considered to have a serious chance. So I guess it will be the MHP ruling in Adana for the next five years. And after that, who knows which party Durak will choose to try to make a full thirty years as mayor. Maybe the AKP already knows that too, so they saw no point in replacing Bilici’s vandalised posters.