Turkey marks 87th anniversary of women’s suffrage

Turkey marks 87th anniversary of women’s suffrage

Turkey marks 87th anniversary of women’s suffrage

Women in Turkey, who got the right to vote and be elected in 1934 before many European countries, celebrated the 87th anniversary of getting full suffrage on Dec. 5.

Many municipalities and institutions across the country conducted seminars depicting women’s role in politics as many national and provincial women’s organizations posted messages thanking Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of modern Turkey.

Female local heads across the country gathered in the Ayvalık district of the northwestern province of Balıkesir as the women societies in the western province of İzmir conducted a silent “women’s march” demanding equalitarianism in politics.

Turkish Businesswomen’s Association also published a message asking more women to join politics and defend the rights of women.

Every year, Dec. 5 marks the “Women’s Rights Day” in Turkey since Atatürk addressed the Turkish women on Dec. 5, 1934, urging them to “use this right competently and with discretion.”

On this occasion, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan posted a video message. “Turkish women got this opportunity much earlier than many women in Europe, and this is an important indicator that reflects Turkey’s view of women,” he said in the video message.

Reminding the representation of women in Turkish parliament has not topped more than 4 percent in six decades after Atatürk’s passing, he stressed, “This calamity changed after Justice and Development Party [AKP] came to power in 2002.”

“Although [Turkish] women gained full suffrage in 1934, they started to use their rights freely under the AKP,” Erdoğan stated.