Where is women’s place in local government in Turkey?

Editorial / Opinion Piece / Blog Post

December 24, 2013

Where is women’s place in local government in Turkey?

Dec. 5 was the 79th anniversary of the day Turkish women were granted the right to vote and to be elected. 

The confusion in the domestic and external agenda caused this gain to be celebrated less than it deserved. 

Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and friends, aiming to give Turkish women earn the place they deserve, based on the 1926 dated Civil Law, granted suffrage to Turkish women in 1930 in local elections. Next, in 1932, Turkish women were given the right to be elected muhtar (village head), as well as become members of village councils. Finally, on Dec. 5, 1934, women were given the right to elect and be elected. 

Thus, since Dec. 5, 1934 Turkish women have begun finding places for themselves within Turkish political life. 

However, starting from Parliament to local government, the percentage of women is still quite low.

In the Local Governments Evaluation Report prepared by the Interior Ministry based on 2012 figures, women’s situation in local government can be seen very clearly. 

In Turkey, currently, there are 2,950 mayors; 2,923 of them are men, 27 of them are women. When viewed as percents, it appears to be 99.08 percent to 0.92 percent. When local councils are viewed, out of the total 31,790 municipal assembly members, only 1,340 of them are women, corresponding to 95.78 percent men to 4.22 percent women.

Tolga Sardan
Daily News
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