“Voters in Turkey have reacted to the one-party system of the Justice and Development Party (AKP).”
Speaking to bianet, Narlı argued that voters wanted to see a “more pluralist picture”.
The academic added that despite the active involvement of women at the party base, they were not represented in offices. Only two women have won mayoral office in province capitals in these elections, which is an increase of one. “Women organised the election campaigns, and men have sat down in the seats,” she said.
AKP's votes went to others
In the votes for province municipalities, the AKP received 38.79 percent, the Republican People’s Party (CHP) 23.13 percent, the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) 16.05 percent, the Democratic Society Party (DTP) 5.67 percent, and the Felicity Party (SP) 5.16 percent.
Unlike the other parties, the AKP lost votes in the elections. Narlı explained why votes went from the AKP to other parties:
CHP: The party has increased its votes in the provinces on the Marmara Sea, Aegean and Mediterranean coasts. When we look at the life style in these provinces, it is not religiously conservative, but secular. By voting for the CHP in these elections, people living on the coast said, “We are worried about our life style being threatened by you.”
Discussions on “peer pressure” to cover up in the context of allowing head scarves at university and the ban on alcohol consumption in some areas has created this reaction. We can also see this as a reaction of people who have been living in the large cities for two to three generations and who are defending their way of life.
DTP: The increase of votes for the party in the southeast is due to the fact that the Kurdish identiy has become a nearly existentialist importance. The voters have said, “We want the DTP to be taken seriously.” On the other hand, the fact that the AKP did not lose so many votes in the area, could be interpreted as partial satisfaction with the party’s initiatives in the area.
MHP: We can say that the votes for the MHP have increased as a reaction to Kurdish nationalism. Although there have been serious increases for the party in some provinces, their share has generally gone up by 2 or 3 points in most of Turkey. From that we can infer that voters do not want extreme politics.
SP: This party has benefited most from the votes lost by the AKP. The party’s success is largely due to the party chair Numan Kurtuluş and Greater Istanbul Municipality’s mayoral candidate Mehmet Bekaroğlu. Both of them sent out unthreatening, humanist messages. This was even evident from their body language. On the other hand, they also used the claim against the AKP that they were the party supporting “real Islamic values.” They used discourses on taking care of the poor and working towards a fairer distribution of incomes with the slogan “We are with the oppressed, we oppose injustice.” They thus increased their votes.
Male-dominated parties leave no room for women
Professor Narlı pointed out that many women
were active in pre-election campaigns, and that their efforts had an effect on
“In all political parties, women mobilised in order to protect the values they supported. However, when we see that only two women were voted as mayors of province capitals, we realise that this is a policy determined by men: Women should work at the base, but they should not be part of the decision-making process. Women have either stopped demanding this anyway, or they have not wanted to take active positions because they have not been able to stand being excluded from the male-dominated policies.” (BÇ/AG)
Related bianet News
That Makes Two: Only One New Female Province Capital Mayor 31 March 200979 province capitals have male mayors. With the election of Çerçioğlu in Aydın ...
Six Armenians in Istanbul’s Municipal Councils 31 March 2009Five Turkish-Armenian men and one woman have been voted into municipal councils in ...
Türk: AKP Did Not Solve Kurdish Question, Kurds Took Votes Elsewhere 31 March 2009Evaluating the election results, Türk from the DTP said that the “charity approach” ...
CHP Demands Recount in 5 Istanbul Districts 30 March 2009Province party chair Tekin has announced that the CHP is contesting the results ...
400 Thousand Disabled Denied the Right to Vote 30 March 2009Local elections were held yesterday and I arrived at the polling station only ...
ERTUGRUL KURKCU's analysis Electorate Buries Erdoğan's Arrogance at Polls 30 March 2009PM Erdoğan loses the referendum game he conceitedly established. People withdraw the conditional ...
The Municipalities Erdoğan “Definitely” Wanted… 30 March 2009Certain municipalities have greater symbolic value than others, and Prime Minister Erdoğan had ...
Local Election Results: AKP Loses Points, CHP, MHP and DTP gain 30 March 2009As around 98 percent of the votes have been counted, the AKP, CHP ...
Most Read Today
'Justice for Hazelnut' March Starts from Province of Ordu 18 September 2017
BÜŞRA ERSANLI WRITES A Letter to Aysel Tuğluk 18 September 2017
Detention Warrant Issued Again for HDP’s Bilgen 18 September 2017