THE CORRIDOR - How many female candidates might be elected to Parliament?
How many female deputies will be elected to the 24th Turkish Parliament? Are the expectations of women being met properly? These are just a few of the questions swirling around in advance of the June 12 elections.
The Association for the Support and Training of Women Candidates, or Ka-Der, announced that they want to see 275 female deputies in Parliament. This was actually an expression of yearning for a Parliament having equal number of men and women. But the result was a disappointment.
The male-dominated Parliament did not clear the way for women deputy candidates; still, the powers that be must have been impressed by Ka-Der’s campaign as the percentage of female candidates increased slightly compared to the last election period. Approximately 80 women were nominated from the most rows most likely to win on the electoral lists.
The A&G Research Co. released the results of a public opinion poll conducted in April 2011, which indicated that the ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP, was running at 46.9 percent support; the main opposition Republican People’s Party, or CHP, was at 29.7 percent; the opposition Nationalist Movement Party, or MHP, was at 10.4 percent; and independents were at 6.7 percent. The numbers more or less mean that roughly 79 female deputy candidates have a chance of being elected. There are a total of 50 female deputies in Parliament in the current term: 30 from the AKP, 10 from the CHP, two from MHP and eight from the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party, or BDP.
In terms of female candidates, the distribution according to party is AKP 45, CHP 24, MHP one and BDP nine.
This table proves that although the percentage of women has increased, it is still not enough for their proper representation. And the regional distribution reveals rather distressing picture: In some regions, there is not even a single female candidate.
For instance, only three women rank in the best-placed rows from the Black Sea region. The AKP has only three female candidates in the provinces of Trabzon, Tokat and Amasya. The CHP and the MHP don’t even have a single female candidate in the same region. In the east and southeast, the BDP relatively saves face with its “independents.”
The parties, in the end, chose to nominate females from big cities such as Istanbul, Ankara, İzmir.
Fourteen of the 45 female AKP candidates located in the best-placed rows are from Istanbul, Ankara and İzmir, including Mihrimah Belma Satır, Alev Dedegil, Nimet Çubukçu, Ayşe Nur Bahçekapılı, Türkan Dağoğlu, Sevim Savaşer, Halide İncekara, Tülay Kaynarca and Gülay Dalyan.
The CHP has a total of 15 female candidates in the country’s three largest cities, nine of whom are well-placed to be elected, including Ayşe Eser Danışoğlu, Şafak Pavey, Fatma Nur Serter, Ayten Kayalıoğlu, Bihlun Tamaylıgil, Sedef Küçük, Melda Onur, Binnaz Toprak and Sabahat Akkiraz.
The MHP, on the other hand, has only one woman candidate in the most likely spot in Istanbul: Meral Akşener from the 3rd Region in the first row.
While she seems like a lock for election, it appears unlikely the MHP will have female candidates in other provinces, although Ruhsar Demirel is nominated from the first row in Eskişehir and Şenol Bal is in the second row in İzmir.
The AKP has three female deputy candidates in Ankara with a high probability of being elected: Tülay Selamoğlu, Ülker Güzel and Nurdan Şanlı.
Interestingly, though, İzmir has comparatively fewer women who are likely to be elected. İlknur Denizli and Nesrin Ulema have a chance from the AKP, as do Güldal Mumcu, Hülya Güven and Birgül Güler from the CHP.
The BDP’s “independent” women candidates have a good chance in some provinces. Leyla Zana and Emine Ayna from Diyarbakır, Sabahat Tuncel from Istanbul, Gülser Yıldırım from Mardin, Gültan Kışanak from Siirt, Aysel Tuğluk from Van, Ayla Akat Ata from Batman, Selma Irmak from Şırnak and Pervin Buldan from Iğdır could all make their way to Ankara after June 12.
The other female candidates, their provinces and their parties are as follows:
Adana - Fatoş Gürkan (AKP), Zeynep Canan (CHP); Ağrı - Fatma Salman Kotan (AKP); Antalya - Sevgi Doğan (CHP); Aydın - Semiha Öyüş (AKP); Balıkesir - Tülay Babuşçu (AKP), Ayşe Nedret Akova (CHP); Bursa - Canan Candemir, Tülin Erkal Kara (AKP), Sena Kaleli (CHP); Denizli - Nurcan Dalbudak (AKP); Diyarbakır - Mine Lök Beyaz, Oya Eronat (AKP); Elazığ - Sermin Balık (AKP); Erzurum - Fazilet Dağcı Çığlık (AKP); Eskişehir - Ülker Can (AKP), Gaye Usluer (CHP); Gaziantep - Fatma Şahin,Derya Bakbak (AKP); Kayseri - Pelin Gündeş Bakır (AKP); Kocaeli - Azize Sibel Gönül (AKP); Konya - Ayşe Türkmenoğlu, Gülay Samancı (AKP); Kütahya - Bedia Türkyılmaz (AKP); Kahramanmaraş -Sevde Beyazıt Kaçar (AKP); Malatya - Öznur Çalık (AKP); Manisa - Sakine Öz (CHP); Mardin - Gönül Bekin Şahkulubey (AKP); Sakarya - Ayşenur İslam (AKP); Samsun - Tülay Bakır (AKP); Sivas - Nursuna Memecan (AKP); Şanlıurfa - Zeynep Armağan Uslu (AKP); Tekirdağ - Özlem Yemişçi (AKP), Gülferah Güral, Candan Yüceer (CHP); Tokat - Dilek Yüksel (AKP); Trabzon - Safiye Seymenoğlu (AKP); Uşak - Dilek Akagün Yılmaz (CHP); Van - Gülşen Orhan (AKP); and Aksaray - İlknur İnceöz (AKP).