The secret of the AKP
Okay, I’ve sort of recovered from yesterday. I went to a big AKP rally in Istanbul’s Zeytinburnu district, the last big local election event organised by the governing party, and I came home at the end of the afternoon totally worn out. At first, I didn’t want to go to Zeytinburnu. Actually, when I left the house in the morning I planned to go to Caglayan Square, where first off the opposition CHP party was to have a rally and in the afternoon a small religious party, the SP. Zeytinburnu is far away and I thought I had better catch two parties in one square, relaxed and easy. But what did I find when I got to the harbour at Üsküdar, where I live? I saw a few special boats, covered with AKP flags, which would take AKP supporters directly from Üsküdar to the rally grounds in Zeytinburnu. Music was playing, flags and paper hats were being distributed, water and sandwiches given away for free. What could I do but jump on the boat and get transported to Zeytinburnu a relaxed and easy way? Also, I have never been to a big AKP rally, but have seen a few anti AKP demonstrations, so this trip would be good for balance.
And so, yesterday I felt part of the secret of the AKP. Prime Minister Erdogan would speak, but was rather late and kept his supporters waiting for almost 3 hours. But did people get impatient? No, they were singing songs, (one in particular made me laugh, a song about Erdogan, nice and in rhyme), and waving their flags happily. Whoever I talked to was being positive about Erdogan, about AKP policies, about Turkey and the country’s future. How different to so many of the people I talked to at big opposition demonstrations: I remember them being angry, bitter, negative, and focused on Turkey’s great past instead of on the country’s future. As well the AKP is very well organized, as was shown again today by the way this rally was handled. Okay, the AKP is already in charge of Istanbul’s municipal government, so it’s easy for them to use municipal boats and buses to transport people, but still, the organisation was perfect. Whether you agree with the AKP’s policies or not, it does understand what is needed to be successful: a strong organisation and a way of appealing to people’s positive side and good hopes for the future.
Fréderike, you made a great point there. People are too much obsessed about the last 70 years of the Country that they can not step forward. But AKP is about the change that. And these folks don’t really care whatever your race and religion is, as long as you do your job right, well organized you are fine. That’s why I like them. They at leat leave the door open to everyone. Now compare them with other parties if you can..