Three fe­male may­ors elected in Turkey’s mu­nic­i­pal elec­tions

The Kurdish Globe - - FRONT PAGE -

Turk­ish cit­i­zens of Kur­dish de­scent in the south­east scored ma­jor vic­to­ries in the south­east, win­ning nine city and 69 districts in the process. Mean­while, the sur­prise was BDP's Gülten Kışanak and AK Party's Fatma Şahin (left) be­com­ing the first fe­male may­ors of Di­yarbakır and Gaziantep

Turk­ish cit­i­zens of Kur­dish de­scent in the south­east scored ma­jor vic­to­ries in the south­east, win­ning nine city and 69 districts in the process. Mean­while, the sur­prise was BDP's Gülten Kışanak and AK Party's Fatma Şahin (left) be­com­ing the first fe­male may­ors of Di­yarbakır and Gaziantep

Up un­til Sun­day's lo­cal elec­tions, not a sin­gle Turk­ish met­ro­pol­i­tan city had ever been run by a fe­male mayor. That has all changed with this year's mu­nic­i­pal elec­tions; three fe­male can­di­dates have been elected to fill met­ro­pol­i­tan may­oral po­si­tions.

Turkey's fe­male can­di­dates made his­tory in Sun­day's elec­tion by be­ing elected as Turkey's first-ever fe­male met­ro­pol­i­tan mu­nic­i­pal may­ors. Fatma Şahin, the AK Party can­di­date for the south­east­ern prov­ince of Gaziantep, won the elec­tion with 54.59 per­cent of the vote while CHP can­di­date Akif Ekici re­ceived 21.47 per­cent of the vote. The BDP may­oral can­di­date for the south­east­ern prov­ince of Di­yarbakır, Gülten Kışanak won lo­cal elec­tions in the city with 54.61 per­cent of the vote while AK Party can­di­date Mehmet Galip En­sar­i­oğlu re­ceived about 35.08 per­cent. The CHP can­di­date for the Aegean prov­ince of Ay­dın, Özlem Çerçioğlu, gar­nered 43.77 per­cent of the vote and AK Party can­di­date Mustafa Savaş fol­lowed her with 29.19 per­cent of the vote.

Women’s poor rep­re­sen­ta­tion in pol­i­tics, es­pe­cially in lo­cal govern­ment posts, has been a great source of con­cern and de­spite promis­ing am­bi­tious plans, leading po­lit­i­cal par­ties in the coun­try have recorded a weak per­for­mance re­gard­ing the is­sue.

The BDP and its sis­ter party People’s Democ­racy Party (HDP) have been sen­si­tive about the is­sue by nom­i­nat­ing women at rates of 55.3 per­cent and 72.8 re­spec­tively.

How­ever, its coun­ter­parts have failed in the task, as only 1.15 per­cent of the Jus­tice and De­vel­op­ment Party (AKP) may­oral and lo­cal as­sem­bly mem­ber can­di­dates were fe­male, while this rate was 4.32 per­cent for the CHP and 2.51 per­cent for the Na­tion­al­ist Move­ment Party (MHP).

Turkey ranked 68th out of 187 coun­tries in gen­der dis­par­i­ties, ac­cord­ing to the United Na­tions De­vel­op­ment Pro­gram (UNDP) 2012 Gen­der In­equal­ity In­dex Rank.

Only 14 per­cent of Turk­ish Par­lia­ment mem­bers are women, or 79 MPs out of 548. Turkey, there­fore, ranks 92nd out of 188 coun­tries ac­cord­ing to the In­ter-Par­lia­men­tary Union’s (IPU) lat­est data on Women in Na­tional Par­lia­ments.

The mu­nic­i­pal elec­tions were held in Turkey on 30 March 2014 and 26 po­lit­i­cal par­ties com­peted in them. Around 54 mil­lion elec­torates par­tic­i­pated in the voting process for over 30,000 can­di­dates run­ning as mayor, 618,000 run­ning as mem­bers of 3,122 lo­cal coun­cils and 34,075 can­di­dates run­ning as mem­bers of provin­cial coun­cils.

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