Turkish trade union confederation chooses first woman president

One of Turkey’s major trade union confederations has chosen its new president, selecting a woman to take the role for the first time, left wing news site Evrensel reported on Tuesday.

The Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions of Turkey, known by the abbreviation DİSK, voted Arzu Çerkezoğlu in to replace former president Kani Beko, who has resigned to run as a candidate in the parliamentary elections, due on Jun. 24.

Çerkezoğlu came from a background in medicine and medical workers’ unions to become the first woman on DİSK’s board of management in 2013, and has served as the union’s first female general secretary as well as on its public relations and women’s branches.

DİSK is one of Turkey’s four major trade union confederations with over 300,000 members, and since its foundation in 1967 has been an influential actor among Turkey’s left-wing and revolutionary circles.