A former municipal employee in the northwestern province of Bilecik who ran for mayor as an independent candidate after resigning due to unfair treatment in the workplace has managed to beat her former boss and win his seat, local media reported.
“I did this to set an example and to show women what one can achieve,” said Zekiye Tekin, the new mayor, after the election results were announced on Monday.
Tekin used to work as a clerk at the municipality before the election but resigned after she was demoted by former Mayor Muzaffer Yalçın.
She initially lodged a bid to run from the ranks of the Justice and Development Party (AKP), but the party chose Yalçın, who served as mayor for the past two terms.
Then Tekin took her chances as an independent, running a lively campaign and garnering support particularly from female voters, who she calls her sisters.
Tekin got 1,596 votes out of 4,082, beating her former boss by 26 percent.
She became one of the few female mayors elected in cities and districts across Turkey in the March 31 local elections.
Fatma Şahin of the AKP won for a second term in the southeastern province of Gaziantep.
Özlem Çerçioğlu of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) won the metropolitan municipality seat in Aydın, an Aegean province.
Four female mayors from CHP ranks and one from the AKP were elected in the districts of the Aegean province of İzmir.
The Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) nominated female co-mayor candidates in each city and province in which they ran.