SUKHUM / AQW'A ― Turkey is gearing up for one of the most important elections in its history. In the midst of the election preparations, the Caucasus Associations Federation (KAFFED) has announced its support for independent parliamentary candidate Mutlu Akkaya, a former KAFFED Vice President. Akkaya is running for a seat in Kayseri to represent the Circassian community in the upcoming 2023 General Elections.
Akkaya's decision to run as an independent candidate comes as a response to the political parties' insufficient representation of Kayseri's diverse communities. KAFFED believes that the current political climate disregards the Circassian population and sees them as guaranteed votes. Akkaya's candidacy aims to challenge this perspective and provide a voice for underrepresented groups in the city.
Despite legally separating from KAFFED, the organization declares its intellectual and emotional unity with Akkaya. The Federation appreciates the great responsibility he has taken on behalf of the community and stands behind his decision.
Akkaya, who has a background in civil society, said, "I am a candidate with a background in civil society. Since my youth, I have held various roles within civil society organizations representing the Circassian people, to which I belong. Before my candidacy, I served as the Vice President of KAFFED, the largest organized structure for Circassians. Prior to that, I held the position of President for two terms on the Executive Board of the Kayseri Caucasus Association, an organization with a 56-year history. Throughout my work in civil society, I have brought attention to the issues faced by the Circassian people. As with all ethnic communities, Circassians must also strive for their existence and identity in a globalizing world. Ensuring that a society preserves its language and culture and passes it on to future generations is not only the responsibility of the community itself, but also of the states. Developed countries have largely established a legal framework for this. In our country, some regulations regarding the rights of ethnic communities have been implemented with the contributions of civil society organizations and the political climate at the time. However, these regulations have not fully met expectations. The demands of the Circassians reflect those of communities worldwide who wish to preserve their language, culture, and identity."
Independent Candidate Mutlu Akkaya to Represent Circassians in Kayseri for 2023 General Elections.
Akkaya's decision to run as an independent candidate is a response to the political parties' inadequate representation of Kayseri's diverse communities. KAFFED asserts that the current political climate overlooks the Circassian population and views them as guaranteed votes. Akkaya's candidacy aims to challenge this notion and give a voice to underrepresented groups in the city.
Although Akkaya has legally separated from KAFFED, the organization maintains its intellectual and emotional connection with him. The Federation acknowledges the significant responsibility he has assumed on behalf of the community and fully supports his decision.
KAFFED expressed confidence in Akkaya's ability to represent the entire Kayseri public, thanks to his knowledge, experience, and democratic values. The Federation has pledged to support Akkaya throughout the campaign process, with all of its components and resources.
Mutlu Akkaya's candidacy is a significant development in the 2023 General Elections, as it highlights the importance of addressing underrepresented communities' concerns and ensuring proportional representation in Turkey's Parliament.
Turkey is home to the largest Circassian diaspora, with an estimated 3 to 5 million people.
On May 14, Turkey is set to conduct both presidential and parliamentary elections. The head of Turkey's election board (YSK), Ahmet Yener, revealed that 26 political parties have presented their deputy candidate lists for the upcoming general election. The governing People's Alliance parties have each submitted their own lists, while the primary opposition, the Nation Alliance, will participate in the election under the CHP and İYİ Party lists.