Turkey celebrates 5 December to commemorate the day when Turkish women won the right to vote and stand for electoral office. Women's suffrage was achieved for parliamentary elections in Turkey on December 5, 1934, through a constitutional amendment.
Turkey is among the first countries to extend this right to women, as it was one of the many reforms that founder of modern Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, implemented. Many European countries did not grant this right until decades later. France did not pass women's suffrage until 1944, Italy 1946, Greece 1952, and Switzerland in 1971.
Daily Sabah has picked 10 powerful and special Turkish women from the last century who have left a mark in the Turkish history. We wish a future which secures the rights of women of the world.
Sabiha Gökçen (1913 – 2001) was a Turkish aviator. According to the Air University, she was the world's first female fighter pilot, and the first Turkish female combat pilot, aged 23. She was one of the eight adopted children of the founder of modern Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.
Keriman Halis Ece-Tamer (1913 – 2012) was a Turkish beauty pageant titleholder, pianist, and fashion model who won the Miss Turkey 1932 title. She was also crowned Miss Universe 1932 in Spa, Belgium and thus became Turkey's first and only Miss Universe.
Güler Sabancı (1955 –) is a third-generation female member of the Sabancı family, and currently the chairperson of the family-controlled Sabancı Holding, the second-biggest industrial and financial conglomerate of Turkey. As of 2014, she is listed as the 60th most powerful woman in the world by Forbes.
Arzuhan Doğan Yalçındağ (1965 –) is a businesswoman, who between 2007 and 2010, served as the first female chairperson of the Turkish Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association (TÜSİAD), the top association of businesspeople in Turkey.
Halide Edip Adıvar (1884 – 1964) was a prominent Turkish novelist, nationalist, and political leader for women's rights. She took part in the Turkish War of Independence which was fought between the Turkish nationalists and the proxies of the Allies.
She was granted the ranks of first corporal and then sergeant in the army, and traveled to the frontline. In 1950, she was elected to Parliament.
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