Busy, chaotic, stressful and informative is how Mina Morkoç, number 5 on the GroenLinks list in Rotterdam and student of Law, describes the countdown to the municipal council elections. And that was before a positive Covid test turned her schedule upside down at the last moment. Despite that setback, she is very confident about 16 March. Four years ago, GroenLinks got five seats too. “So, I’m probably – hopefully – in line for a seat.”
Not enough attention
Mina’s political career started in the run up to the last municipal council elections with a visit to the Iranian supermarket. Coincidentally, there was a GroenLinks campaign building next to her brother’s house, and she wanted to know how she could contribute to the city. “When I was younger, I was kept out of all decision making, but I wanted to be totally involved.” So she took along a tin of Iranian biscuits to break the ice. “It was fucking nerve-wracking. I really thought it would be a world where everyone knew each other, and that I wouldn’t fit in. But the party immediately saw me as a fully-fledged member, not as a young pup who could be useful.”
It’s not known whether her ideas and enthusiasm or perhaps the biscuits were the deciding factor. However, four years later, Morkoç is in the position she dreamed of as a teenager. In recent years, she’s chaired the Green committee in the party, looked for new talents in the scouting committee, is high on the list and has helped write the election manifesto. With her contributions, she hopes to have included the perspective of young people and students in the programme.
“I’m appalled that there are no students in the council, because there’s not enough attention for subjects that are important to young people. I hope that I can represent the voice of young people of Rotterdam. And I really want to talk to them – that’s your responsibility as a council member.”
The campaign poster that Morkoç designed shows that she is doing a great deal to fulfil her resolutions. Besides the photo, party name and her place on the list, her mobile number also appears prominently on the poster. “That was my idea, because I feel it’s an easy way to contact the people in the city. And if they don’t agree with me? I want to know that too. If I’m wrong, fine, tell me!”