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Mardin elects 25-year old Christian woman as mayor

Februniye Akyol, a 25-year-old Syriac Christian and a political novice, was elected co-mayor of Mardin, thus becoming the first Christian woman to lead one of Turkey's 30 metropolitan municipalities.

MARDIN, Turkey — A 25-year-old student has burst onto the political scene in Turkey as the first Christian woman to govern a metropolitan city in this predominantly Muslim republic.

Put forward as a candidate by the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), Turkey’s main Kurdish party, in municipal elections on March 30, Februniye Akyol was elected co-mayor of the southeastern city of Mardin together with Ahmet Turk, 71, a widely respected veteran Kurdish leader. The BDP splits all top posts between a man and a woman to boost female participation in politics.

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