Türkiye: who is Mahinur Özdemir, the only woman in the Erdogan government

Mahinur Özdemir, who made herself known as an MP in Belgium by keeping her Islamic veil, inherited the Ministry of Family and Social Affairs.

By Maeliss Innocenti for Le Point

Mahinur Özdemir is the only woman in Erdogan’s new government.

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Mahinur Özdemir, a 40-year-old Belgian-Turk, joined the new government of Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The re-elected President of Turkey, who was sworn in on Saturday June 3 and kicked off his third term, presented his team of ministers, which includes only one woman.

Mahinur Özdemir Göktas, by her full name, is a 40-year-old politician. Erdogan entrusted her with the Ministry of Family and Social Affairs, after having already trusted her in 2019 by appointing her ambassador to Algeria, his first political mission for Turkey.

READ ALSOErdogan, the tumbling sultanBecause before 2019, Mahinur Özdemir was politically engaged in Belgium, the country where she was born in 1982 (her father was a grocer in Schaerbeek). The forties is indeed from Brussels. After her degree in political science, it was there that she began to make her ranges, participating in 2006 in her first municipal elections on behalf of the Humanist Democratic Center (CDH), recalls the RTBF site.

Armenian Genocide controversy

In Belgium, Mahinur Özdemir subsequently made an impression by taking the oath as deputy for Brussels without removing her Islamic veil. A first for a politician in Belgium, and even more generally in Europe.

READ ALSOElections in Türkiye: Erdogan, the other PutinBefore leaving Belgian political life to devote himself to Turkey, Mahinur Özdemir sparked controversy by refusing to recognize the Armenian genocide, going so far as not to sign a document from his party containing the word “genocide”. The CDH will also ask him at this time to take the door.

However, despite the storm caused in Belgium by this controversy, Mahinur Özdemir had found favor on the Turkish political scene, receiving the support of the AKP, Erdogan’s party, recalls The evening.

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