Publié le 27/03/2024
Mevlana Museum, Whirling Sufi Dervish - Konya, Turkey, July 29, 2012


While the May 2023 parliamentary and presidential elections looked as a difficult test for the flagging Islamo-conservative Justice and Development Party (AKP), they eventually held on to power, demonstrating their remarkable foothold in the Turkish context. The party notably recorded one of its highest scores in Konya, confirming the massive and uninterrupted support of this two-million inhabitants central Anatolian city for Turkish political Islam.

The phenomenon can be explained by the benefits that Konya has derived from its relationship with the Islamic movement for several decades. Long marginalized in a provincial space, little connected to Western Turkey’s centers of power, Konya, renowned for its history and religious heritage, became an “Anatolian tiger” under the AKP rule. The province’s economic development started from an agricultural base (Turkey’s cereal granary) enabling the emergence of a local agro-industry. It was driven by dynamic small and medium-sized enterprises, combining conservative values with entrepreneurial efficiency. Forging close ties with the AKP, Konya has benefited from territorial development policies that facilitated its rapid opening to the world. Thanks to its Anatolian identity, central geography, diversity of human flows and capacity to project its economic dynamism into increasingly distant markets (like Africa), Konya has become a showcase for the paradoxical modernity of the new Turkey.


This publication is available in French : "Une capitale restera toujours une capitale" : l'essor de Konya sous l'AKP [1]