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Local Polls see Surge in Number of Women Mayors

Local Polls see Surge in Number of Women Mayors

The local elections on March 31 have resulted in victories for female mayoral candidates in 11 out of all 81 provinces, more than doubling the number of women mayors securing a majority of votes in just four cities in the previous local polls.

Publish Date: 01/04/24 14:10
Update Date: 01/04/24 14:41
reading time: 3 min.
Local Polls see Surge in Number of Women Mayors
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Over the next five years, five female mayors will serve in metropolitan municipalities – the western province of Aydın, the southeastern cities of Diyarbakır and Gaziantep, the Central Anatolian province of Eskişehir and Tekirdağ in the country’s northwest.

In Aydın, incumbent mayor Özlem Çerçioğlu of the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) secured her seat with more than half of the tally.

The southeastern province of Diyarbakır witnessed the Peoples’ Equality and Democracy Party (DEM Party) candidate Ayşe Serra Bucak Küçük’s victory with 65 percent of the votes.

Ayşe Ünlüce, nominated by the CHP to replace incumbent mayor Yılmaz Büyükerşen after 25 years in Eskişehir, garnered support from more than half of the residents.

In Gaziantep, incumbent mayor and the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) candidate Fatma Şahin extended her term with approximately 39 percent of the votes.

Tekirdağ saw a 50 percent vote for CHP, indicating Candan Yüceer's election victory.

In other provinces, DEM Party candidates won in Siirt, Batman, and Ağrı located in Türkiye’s southeast, while CHP's female candidates will take office as mayors in Edirne, Bilecik and Afyonkarahisar in the upcoming term.

Burcu Köksal managed to become the first female mayor in Afyonkarahisar, with the victory also marking CHP's first-ever local election victory in the western province.

Köksal had stirred controversy with her remarks about the DEM Party during a pre-election rally, leading to an internal debate within the party.

"When I am elected, the doors of Afyonkarahisar Municipality will be open to every political party except DEM Party," Köksal said during a rally held on March 6 in the city in anticipation of the upcoming elections slated for March 31. Her remarks have prompted reactions from both supporters and critics.

Beyond provinces, female candidates secured mayoral seats in critical areas of district municipalities as well.

In Istanbul’s Üsküdar district, a focus of the election traditionally dominated by AKP candidates, Sinem Dedetaş won the mayoral race for the CHP.

While Istanbul will have three female mayors in total, the western province İzmir will have eight.

Despite slight progress seen both in the local elections and in the parliamentary elections last May with a 20 percent representation of female deputies, there remains a low level of female representation both in parliament and in mayoral seats in Türkiye.


Source: Hürriyet Daily News 

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