One out of six MP candidates of the ruing Justice and Development Party (AKP) is a woman. The Republican People's Party (CHP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) as the two main opposition parties have not given any according figures yet.
The number of nominations of women candidates will be certain in the coming week after the application period will have expired. However, all three parties say that they want to see more women in parliament.
Therefore, AKP and CHP decreased the application fees for female applicants. Men have to pay TL 3,000 (€ 1500) whereas women pay half with TL 1,500. The CHP charges TL 3,000 for males, TL 2,000 (€ 1,000) for females and young applicants and TL 500 (€ 250) for disabled candidates. The MHP set a general application fee of TL 1,000 for all applicants.
AKP's aim: double the number of women MPs
Until now, a total of 5,800 people applied to the AKP, more than 900 of whom are women. The AKP Head of Media Representation, Ayşe Keşir, defined the party's aim as doubling the number of female members of parliament. This means that 20 percent of the list places have to be taken by at least one hundred women.
"We aim at increasing the current ratio of women deputies from 9 percent to 17 percent", Keşir said.
"We follow strategies to have at least one female member of parliament for places such as Kayseri, Sakarya, Eskişehir, Antalya or Diyarbakır where we currently do not have a female representative. In provinces with female members of parliament we are trying to increase their number", Keşir explained.
"16 of our women branch presidents resigned from their duties to become candidates. We support them as an institution".
"The trend poll last weekend gave very positive results for candidate applications from women in the provinces that are not represented by any women deputies".
"Our coordinators of the regional women branches closely monitor the local women candidates and forward their requests for support to the supreme board".
MPs with head scarves
Keşir reported that about a dozen women with head scarves applied as MP candidates in the provinces like Balıkesir, Trabzon, İstanbul or Ankara. However, it is not certain yet whether they will have a place on the list.
"Attaching importance to the representation of women with head scarves in the parliament I think that they should have a place on the list if there a very broad consensus is being provided. Otherwise, clashes will be provoked and again it is the women who will be harmed by that. We will observe the developments during the next three weeks and decide according to the pulse of the Turkish people".
CHP: Our Party Chair gave a promise
The application period for the CHP is going to expire this Friday (25 March). Selda Arık, member of the CHP Women Branch Central Steering Board, indicated, "Our Party Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu promised to include women candidates on the list. We, as the women branch, are also taking efforts to keep that promise".
MHP: The call of our chairman was not to remain unanswered
The application period of the MHP has already expired. It has not been announced yet how many women are among the 2,500 applications in total. The MHP Women Branches General Directory declared, "Our Party Chairman announced that he wanted to see more women and young people in politics. We expect his call to have been answered". (BB/EÖ/VK)
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