Turkish main opposition introduces first headscarved candidate

Turkish main opposition introduces first headscarved candidate

AFYON - Doğan News Agency
Turkish main opposition introduces first headscarved candidate

Özdemir is introduced as the first headscarved CHP candidate. DHA photo

The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) has introduced its first ever headscarved candidate, for the Western Anatolian province of Afyonkarahisar’s Akharım district municipality.

Sevinç Özdemir, whose husband currently holds the Akharam mayoral seat, expressed confidence that she would win the local elections and thus run the district. “There is nothing women cannot achieve … This is our country, we will work together, serve together and win together,” she said.

Özdemir is also the district’s first ever female mayor candidate. CHP Afyonkarahisar deputy Ahmet Toptaş was present at the ceremony where Öztürk was introduced to the public. Toptaş said Öztürk was chosen as a candidate due to “intense public demand,” adding that his party would always support Özdemir. Özdemir, 38, is a secondary school graduate, and mother of four. She said she had worked as an accountant for a period of time. She added that she would continue wearing her headscarf if she was elected mayor.

Covered women working as public servants are now able to enter their workplaces wearing their headscarves, following a legal amendment that went into effect on Oct. 8.

The watershed move, which was announced by the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) government in a “democratization package” on Sept. 30, was the fulfillment of a long-time promise. Days after four ruling party lawmakers entered Parliament wearing headscarves on Oct. 31, CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu expressed his determination to end the “political exploitation” of the issue.