Gaziantep Mayor Fatma Şahin becomes first woman to chair Turkish municipality union
GAZİANTEP – Doğan News Agency
Fatma Şahin, the mayor of the southeastern province of Gaziantep, has become the first female to be chosen as the president of the Union of Municipalities of Turkey (TBB) as part of an election on May 8 in the capital Ankara.
After Turkey’s 2011 general election, Şahin became the only female minister in the third cabinet of the then-Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. She was replaced by Ayşenur İslam on Dec. 25, 2013 in a cabinet reshuffle, and was later elected mayor of her home city of Gaziantep in the 2014 local elections.
Şahin said after the vote on May 8 that the TBB has undertaken an important mission since 1945.
“Municipal work is a job of love. To serve the lands where one is born and raised, first you need to love your job, carrying it out with love and touching people’s lives,” she said.
“As the elected representatives who are closest to the people, we are in personal contact with their problems and needs. For every kind of problem that currently stands out, we will together meet all political parties after the June 24 [presidential and parliamentary] elections and leave problems behind. With Turkey becoming a global power – on the path of its 2023, 2051, and 2071 targets - we will all witness the rising of Anatolia,” Şahin added.
Şahin will be replacing Tahir Akyürek, the mayor of the Central Anatolian province of Konya, as TBB head.