Women are more actively taking part in Justice and Development Party (AK Party) congresses as the chairman, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has been urging all party members to include women more frequently into the process. Erdoğan recently sent an exclusive message to all congresses, urging women to be more active in politics.
According to the latest figures, 830 new female AK Party members have been voted into local administrations in 343 district congresses so far. In his message he said: "The AK Party will continue to serve our country for many more years, renewing ourselves, developing and refreshing ourselves with the strength we receive from our nation, history and civilization."
He also asserted that the AK Party "is the party that gives the most importance to the political participation of women in Turkey."
Meanwhile, the head of the AK Party's women's branch, Lütfiye Selva Çam, said that 207 of the 830 women originated from the AK Party's women's branch. She also said that three women have been elected as district heads and that the trend within the AK Party will continue in provincial congresses, municipal elections and general elections.
Earlier this week, Çam told Daily Sabah in an exclusive interview that "President Erdoğan's founding of the party's women's branch along with his frequent emphasis on women being a political actor has been very important."
She also said that there are "local women's branches throughout 919 districts in 81 cities all across Turkey.
"We have more than 4.5 million female members while the party has over 10 million members. In this respect, approximately half of the party's members are female," she added.
The ruling party has entered a new era following Erdoğan's return to the party in late May. After constitutional changes were approved in the April 16 referendum, which allowed Erdoğan to re-establish his ties with the AK Party, the party held an emergency convention on May 21.
Since then, the Cabinet has been reshuffled and the president called for a rejuvenation process within the party that will see more women and youth among AK Party ranks.