The election of Recep Erdogan’s Justice and Development party was not the greatest news for secular Turkish females since the AK party is not enamored with feminine rights. Sunday’s polls witnessed 78 women elected to Parliament, a large increase from the previous legislature which only had 50 members, but that still only leaves women in Turkey holding 14.1% of deputy seats. Unfortunately, the conservative Justice and Development party is the home of 45 female members which means they will not be strong voices for women rights. Of course, there is always the possibility AK female deputies will begin to become more assertive for gender equity even though the men in their party are reluctant to go in this direction.
Perhaps, the best news for Turkish women in the election was failure on the part of the Justice and Development party to gain 66% of the seats which would have empowered them to make constitutional changes. Erdogan’s party only got 50% of the vote which suggests at least half the nation does not wish religious leaders to impose their will on secular Turks.