Women’s Vote


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This is a short story by a Turkish writer, Saki, in my words.


Once during election time, a Turkish minister visited the vizier. He spoke about many subjects and finally breached the main topic of his visit.

He said, “Sire, are we to give voting rights to women too?”

The vizier was shocked!

He said, “Agreed, we have bought a lot of new reforms lately. But let’s not go completely out of control. Women have neither imagination nor intellect. How can they be given suffrage?”

The minister replied, “But sire, this idea is really gaining currency in the west.”

The Vizier replied, “But how can they vote? Most of them can’t even read or write!?”

The Minister replied, “They could be shown the names of the candidates and asked to mark a cross.”

The Vizier said, “I beg your pardon”

The minister replied, “It would surely raise the popularity of The Young Turkish Party.”

The Vizier said finally, “Alright, let the women vote too.”


Finally, the elections came. In one province, a candidate of The Young Turkish Party was preparing his speech of thanks. His victory was a forgone conclusion. He was leading by 400 votes too. He had canvassed to the best of his efforts.  Even used motor cars and all western paraphernalia, for he was western in thought.

As the Election Day was about to close, the main opponent came to vote. He came with his harem of 600 wives. The main candidate had only one wife, as per western tradition.

As he walked homeward with his constituents, the opponent thought, “I was rich in nothing in my life, the only riches I had were my 600 wives.”


The above poem goes differently in the actual story. It will be a good reference to know that women got suffrage in Turkey in the year 1934.