Turkey to consider lowering parliamentary eligibility age

Photo: Turkey to consider lowering parliamentary eligibility age / Turkey

Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said the government is considering lowering the minimum age candidates can stand in parliamentary elections to 18, Anadolu agency reported.

Attending a conference Thursday titled "Our Ancient Civilization and The Great Turkey" in Istanbul Erdogan said his Justice and Development party had already reduced the age from 30 to 25.

Calling on the youth to be actively involved in politics, the prime minister advised them to avoid conflicts, not to look down on those who are different, and not to disregard the value of morals and politeness.

Erdogan at the conference organized by Turkey's Confederation of Public Servants Trade Unions reflected on the significance of the 561st anniversary of the conquest of Istanbul on May 29.

"Those who broke windows, killed people, and behaved in a disrespectful manner to our religious buildings, cannot understand the significance of the conquest (of Istanbul) in 1453; such mentality cannot defend the peace," he said referring to the Gezi Park protesters.

"A great event, which changed the direction of world history" is how Erdogan described the conquest of Istanbul over five centuries ago, which marked the end of Byzantine Empire and turned the heart of the Byzantine realm into the capital of the new Ottoman Empire.

"The conquest was definitely not an invasion," he stressed, "it was not taking the city by force, not extorting. It was eliminating the barriers both on the borders and in the hearts."

On Thursday, May 29, a number of organizations celebrated this pivotal event in a city where dozens of mosques, bridges and streets still bear the name of 'Fatih' - the Conqueror.

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