23 May 2018

Woman becomes youngest ever MP candidate in Turkey

Elif Nur Bayram just became Turkey’s youngest ever parliamentary nominee. The student is running as a candidate for Erdogan's AK Party. Turkey will have snap elections on June 24. 

Ans Boersma
Ans Boersma NewsMavens, Turkey
Woman becomes youngest ever MP candidate in Turkey - NewsMavens
Elif Nur Bayram. Facebook, Haberturk TV.

Why this story matters:

This will be the first time that people under the age of 25 can be elected MPs in Turkey. Last year, Turkey’s parliament decided to lower the minimum age to 18. President Erdogan recently said that this shows trust in the next generation to govern the Turkish state. 

Turkey's ruling AK Party has 57 nominees under 25 who will run for parliament. The country now has a 550-seat parliament, but this will change to 600 seats after the elections. 

In Turkey's upcoming elections, both youth and women's representation as MPs are important issues. During Turkey's previous elections in 2015, a record 96 women won seats in Turkey’s Grand National Assembly, bringing the amount of female deputies to a historic high of 17%, compared with 14% after the 2011 elections. This year, 22% of the seven parties to enter the election are women.

Details from the story:

  • “I will be very happy to become Turkey’s youngest ever deputy. I am very proud to go through such an experience at such an age,” Elif Nur Bayram said.
  • 57 MP candidates are under the age of 25, after Turkey’s parliament last year adopted an article lowering the minimum age to become an MP from 25 to 18.
  • This week political parties in Turkey had to submit their lists of candidates for Turkey's upcoming elections in June. 
  • "Engaging young people in politics is critical to the safeguarding and strengthening of democracy worldwide", says the Inter-Parliamentary Union. This international organization encourages the participation of young parliamentarians. In their last survey, they raised the alarm on the significant under-representation of young people in the world’s parliaments. Young people under 30 make up less than 2 per cent of the world’s MPs. 
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