Turkey elects three female metropolitan mayors in a first

From Daily News

Gültan Kışanak, will succeed Osman Baydemir, who also competed in the southeastern province of Şanlıurfa in this year’s elections. AA Photo

Gültan Kışanak, will succeed Osman Baydemir, who also competed in the southeastern province of Şanlıurfa in this year’s elections. AA Photo

By Daily News

None of Turkey’s metropolitan cities have been governed by female mayors until the March 30 local elections and now not one, but three women have made history after being elected to the helm on opposite sides of the country.

The Justice and Development Party (AKP) candidate for the southeastern province of Gaziantep, Fatma Şahin, the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) co-mayoral candidate for the southeastern province of Diyarbakır, Gültan Kışanak, and the Republican People’s Party (CHP) candidate for the Aegean province of Aydın, Özlem Çerçioğlu, took over three metropolitan cities, representing three different parties and gaining remarkable support from voters.

Şahin, former Family and Social Policies Minister, who was removed from her post as part of a cabinet reshuffle in December, has won the race against her male rivals, maintaining her party’s strong electoral support in the big city.

Besides serving as minister for over two years, she has served as an AKP lawmaker for three terms, as the first woman representing Gaziantep in Parliament.

She claimed more than half of the votes in the March 30 election to become the new head of the 1.7million-populated city that undertakes a remarkable part of Turkey’s trade.

Kışanak, another experienced parliamentarian and co-leader of the BDP, also beat her rivals in the Kurdish-dominated province of Diyarbakır, running for the post alongside Fırat Anlı, in line with her party’s co-leadership model adopted to support female presence in the political arena. Continue reading story here…

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