Turkey's Women's Party demands equal representation

ANADOLU AGENCY
ISTANBUL
Published

Turkey's Women's Party has called on more women to run in elections, while demanding equal representation in Parliament.

"We call on more women to stand as independent candidates," party leader Benal Yazgan said at a press conference on Wednesday in Istanbul.

Turkey is due to hold a general election on June 7 this year.

The Women's Party was established last June and Yazgan says it is keen to provide the relevant expertise in the nomination and promotion process.

It aims to increase female participation in Turkish politics and decision making. There are currently just 77 female deputies among the 550 legislators in the Turkish Parliament.

Yazgan claimed that without equal representation in the Turkish parliament "there cannot be an advanced democracy in this country."

The party is the second political initiative by Turkish women to establish a parliamentary presence. The National Women's Party was founded in 1972. However, it could not open enough offices around the country and closed after the 1980 military coup.

Nezihe Muhiddin, an early Turkish feminist, tried to form a women's political party in 1923, just after the foundation of the Turkish Republic.

However, her application was turned down due to legal restrictions preventing women from taking part in politics. The law was revised in the 1930s.
For independent candidates, a certain number of votes depending on the number of voters in an electoral district are required in order to be elected.
Although Yazgan said her party lacks a "robust economic base," she added that it expects to see donations from business people.

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