Young voters, who will cast their votes for the first time in the upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections on June 24, are excited to participate in the elections, and they are particularly focused on the candidates' pledges on education and employment."It is exciting to vote in an essential election which means you will have a say in shaping the future of the country," Elif Yıldırım, 18, said, expressing her interest in the upcoming elections.
Yıldırım, who lives in the capital Ankara, is only one of the 1.5 million young voters who will vote for the first time in the June 24 presidential and parliamentary elections.
"I followed the election process and evaluated the candidates. I made my decision based on my observations," Yıldırım said stressing that she was not influenced by her parents or friends but made up her own mind about the presidential candidates.
While some first time voters in Ankara expressed that they have a clear opinion about the elections, some said that they were unable to follow the recent developments regarding the elections as the university exam scheduled for June 30 is the only thing in their minds.
"My decision on the elections has been clear from the beginning," Hasret Kürbiz, 19, who has been preparing for the university exam, said. "I believe there have been great developments in Turkey in various fields such as health and education which is promising for the country. I am content with the steps taken to further develop the country, and I will vote according to that."
Counting the days for the university entrance exam, Okan Yılmaz, 18, said that he looks forward to taking a long holiday afterwards.
"I want to become an engineer, I hope my efforts will not go to waste," he said. "Because of the university entrance exam I have not had the time to follow the election process but I closely listened to what the candidates had to say about education; I expect politicians to focus on the problems in the education system."
Commenting on the candidates' promises for young people, Yılmaz said, "I like some of the promises for the young people. For example, the idea of opening reading cafes is a good one. I would definitely go there to study with my friends."
The presidential candidate of the People's Alliance formed by the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan vowed to set up public "kıraathanes," reading houses, in all cities, with both books and snacks on offer.
President Erdoğan said people young and old alike would go there to read books, newspapers, magazines and enjoy treats and that these venues would be open 24 hours a day.
For the first time in these elections, there are young, 18-year-old candidates seeking seats in Parliament. In relation to the issue, first time voters surprisingly expressed different opinions.
"I think 18 is a very young age to be in Parliament. I do not know how these young people will make decisions on significant issues," Metehan, 18, who was wandering in Kızılay, Ankara with his friends, said.
Considering the candidates, Metehan said that he has not made a decision "but I will definitely cast my ballot."
The age of candidacy was lowered from 25 to 18 years old with last year's referendum. The ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) has 57 parliamentary candidates below the age of 25 while the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) nominated 48 candidates below the age of 25. The Good Party (İP) and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) nominated six and two youngsters, respectively.
Aykut Şahin, 18, said, "My political opinions are similar to those of my family. However, I have not made a decision about the candidate that I will vote for."
Şahin also said that "there have been some developments in the country and I believe that more development is needed."
Commenting on young lawmaker candidates, Şahin said, "It is significant for the representation of young people and bringing a new perspective to politics in Turkey."
Meanwhile his friend Kadir Çelik, 17, said, "It is simply not a good idea. I think experienced politicians should be in Parliament instead."
Please click to read our informative text prepared pursuant to the Law on the Protection of Personal Data No. 6698 and to get information about the cookies used on our website in accordance with the relevant legislation.
6698 sayılı Kişisel Verilerin Korunması Kanunu uyarınca hazırlanmış aydınlatma metnimizi okumak ve sitemizde ilgili mevzuata uygun olarak kullanılan çerezlerle ilgili bilgi almak için lütfen tıklayınız.