DEVA becomes first political party to assign executive board member with autism

The 27-year-old Baha Tuna has become the first openly autistic person to be admitted to a political party's executive board. Tuna will be on the executive board of the newly launched DEVA's Yalova provincial office.

Duvar English

One of Turkey's newest opposition parties, the Democracy and Progress Party (DEVA), will be the first party in the country to have a person with autism disorder on its executive board.

The27-year-old Baha Tuna will be on the executive board of the party'sYalova provincial office, daily Sözcü reported on Aug. 25. Theparty's provincial office will be headed by Mehmet Demirhan.

DEVA was launched in March by Ali Babacan, a former deputy prime minister who was in charge of economy. Babacan has not been shying about criticizing the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP)'s policies since he launched the party.

OdaTV held an interview with Tuna, who spoke of why he joined the DEVA and what his projects and targets are. “We have an acquaintance in Yalova named Barbaros Birincioğlu and he is in DEVA. He proposed that I join the party as well. I talked about this issue with my family and I accepted the proposal. But of course this is not the only reason,” Tuna said.

Tuna also said that he likes the policies of former Turkish former prime minister Turgut Özal and the DEVA's “political lane is in the same direction with that of Özal." “I liken DEVA to the Motherland Party's [ANAP] years of 1980s and the initial term of the AKP. It was already said that DEVA is the continuation of the AKP and ANAP. And I feel close to both of them,” he said.

Tuna also said that he was studying anthropology at the university but left it after he suffered panic attack. “I am now doing various researches. I am reading articles and encyclopedias in foreign languages. I am also writing articles myself,” he said.