Female Turkish bus driver hits headlines after Ivanka Trump tweet
A female Turkish bus driver, Pelin Aslantaş, has suddenly hit headlines after Ivanka Trump, the daughter of U.S. President Donald Trump, mentioned her in a tweet.
“Check out Pelin’s story as the first female bus driver in Edirne, Turkey from @UN Women ‘From where I stand’ series,” Trump tweeted on Aug. 22, referring to an article penned by the 43-year-old that was published on the website of the United Nations’ U.N. Women, an initiative to strengthen women and improve gender equality around the world.
The article was published on the site on March 8, Women’s Day.
“I am the only woman bus driver in the city, among 202 men drivers,” said Arslantaş, who works in the northwestern Turkish province of Edirne.
“I’ve always wanted to drive big vehicles. I learned how to drive when I was 10 with my father’s four-wheel-drive, but it was my mother who taught me how to drive,” she added.
“This is an incredibly demanding job. We work very long hours and have only one day off. For my male colleagues, their work ends here and when they go home, they can rest. But when I arrive at home, I wash my hands and head straight to the kitchen. I feel like I’m resting more in the bus while driving. I love what I’m doing, it would have been impossible to do this job otherwise. My only rule in life is to continue what I start. I’m not a quitter, and I will go on doing my job for as long as I can,” Arslantaş added.
U.N. Women noted that it had provided “gender-responsive budgeting” training to the municipality so that when budgets are planned, they respond to the needs of both men and women. “As a result, women bus drivers have been recruited for Edirne Municipality’s public transport system for the first time,” it said.
After Trump’s Twitter post, Aslantaş said she would like to meet her.
“I would like her to travel in my vehicle,” she said, inviting Trump to Edirne.