With the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) organizations throughout the 81 provinces of Turkey preparing for the upcoming referendum in early April, the AK Party Women's Branch along with the Union of European Turkish Democrats (UETD) held Advisory and Educational meetings with 150 female representatives of 10 countries in Europe.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the meeting, the AK Party's Mustafa Yeneroğlu, the head of Parliament's Human Rights Investigation Commission, drew attention to the importance of the referendum process and said "the process of the referendum on the constitutional amendments is an important process not only for Turkey but also for the [Turkish] citizens living in Europe."
AK Party Deputy Yeneroğlu, who is also the head of the party's Election Coordination Center in Europe, informed the attendees that there are nearly 3 million expat voters and underlined that 85 percent of those expat voters live in Europe. "The performance we will display abroad throughout this process [of the referendum], and the people we will reach out to as well as the votes they will submit, are to contribute to the prosperity of Turkey directly," Yeneroğlu said and added that the referendum campaign works in Europe are to begin next week on Monday.
As he noted that the referendum is highly likely to be held on April 9 following ratification by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Yeneroğlu also said, "the young expat voters must be motivated, and be reminded of the sensibility toward Turkey while getting them to vote at the ballots in the upcoming referendum." Adding on to Yeneroğlu's remarks, AK Party Women's Branch President Lütfiye Selva Çam touched upon the significance of women's role in the upcoming referendum campaigning as she stressed, "if we want to do change and develop, it must be done with women." Furthermore, UETD Women's Branch head Ayşe Aşut said expat Turks are to be a bridge between Turkey and Europe.
The two-day working and advisory meeting sessions under the title of "Women's Changing Role in Politics during Developing Turkey," and "International Media and Making of Agenda" were held as 150 female representatives from 10 European countries including Germany, France and the United Kingdom had visited the Presidential Palace. During the second day of the meeting today, a presentation on "Motivation and Crisis management" is to be held as Women and Democracy Association (KADEM) Deputy Chairwomen Sümeyye Erdoğan-Bayraktar is to make her presentations under the title of "New Turkey's Soft Power: Civil Society and Participation of Women."
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