Turkish citizens voted for diverse candidates in different districts and provinces in the March 31 local elections.
A candidate from the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) was elected as the first mayor with a disability in the history of Turkey. In yesterday's election, Turan Hançerli became Istanbul's Avcılar district mayor by receiving 52 percent of the votes according to data released by Anadolu Agency (AA).
"I will work with a greater enthusiasm each day, thank you Avcılar," he shared on his official media account.
Hançerli lost his arms in an accident in 1993. Yet, this has not prevented him from living his life. He first graduated from the Law Faculty of Istanbul University and later completed his master's degree in law. Hançerli served as the deputy chairman of Turkey's Disabled Foundation and led the preparation of law and regulations which aim to facilitate the lives of people with disabilities. He is also engaged in many activities, giving speeches to raise awareness on disabled rights, discrimination against disabled people and organizing the disabled.
Another province also saw the representation of the communist ideology with the election of the first-ever communist provincial mayor in Turkey. Mehmet Fatih Maçoğlu of the Communist Party of Turkey (TKP) won in eastern Tunceli province, according to the unofficial results.
With almost all ballots counted, Maçoğlu maintained a tight lead over his closest rival, Nurşat Yeşil of the pro-PKK Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), receiving 32.23 percent against Yeşil's 29.04 percent in the trustee-appointed city.
In relation to the issue, Maçoğlu told voters that "We will collectively take decisions and collectively implement them. The possibility to govern together without marginalization was proved [in this election]."
Pointing out that he will not use the term "other or they" but refer to everyone as "we" Maçoğlu underscored that he will keep his every promise and be transparent in his activities.
Maçoğlu, the former mayor of Tunceli's Ovacık district, also became the first-ever communist mayor of a district-level area in the 2014 local elections. Since then, Maçoğlu is known for planting beans, potatoes and chickpeas in uncultivated lands in the district and later distributing the income earned from the sales to poor families or students in need of scholarships.
The oldest mukhtar was also re-elected in the March 31 elections. Güvendik village of Kilis' Elbeyli saw 93-year-old Ali Hamurlu elected as the mukhtar by gathering all the valid votes in the village, which has a population of 73. In a gathering to celebrate him, Hamurlu stressed that he would carry out the maintenance of the village road and mosque.
In the Çamyayla neighborhood of western İzmir's Ödemiş district, Ali Uysal, who is serving his sentence behind bars under the charges of historical artifact smuggling got the most votes in the mukhtar election.
Uysal was detained on March 10 by Ödemiş district police and later arrested under the accusation of smuggling. He received 126 votes in the elections and came first. Now, the district election board will decide whether Uysal will be eligible to carry out his duty.
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