Meral Aksener: Short bio of presidential candidate in Turkey elections
Meral Akşener was born on July 18, 1956 in Kocaeli.
She graduated from Bursa Teacher High School for Girls. Akşener studied history at Istanbul University and continued her studies at Marmara University’s Social Sciences Institute. She subsequently lectured at Yıldız Technical University and Marmara University, and also worked as the History of Revolution Department’s chief lecturer at Kocaeli University. She also established Zübeyde Hanım Martyr Families Foundation.
In 1995 from Istanbul and in 1999 from Kocaeli, Meral Akşener entered parliament as a deputy for the True Path Party (DYP). She was later nominated and elected as Istanbul deputy in the 2007, 2011 and 2015 general elections from the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).
For eight months, Akşener worked as interior minister in the 54th government, and during the 23rd and 24th parliaments she was the vice-speaker of parliament.
After unsuccessfully challenging for the party leadership, Akşener quit the MHP in 2016 and announced the establishment of the İYİ (Good) Party on Oct. 25, 2017, after which she became leader of the İYİ Party.
Akşener is married and has one child.