|Chairman of the Peoples' Democratic Party|
22 June 2014 –11 February 2018
|Preceded by||Ertuğrul Kürkçü|
|Succeeded by||Sezai Temelli|
|Leader of the Peace and Democracy Party|
1 February 2010 –22 April 2014
|Preceded by|| Mustafa Ayzit |
|Succeeded by||Party abolished|
See Democratic Regions Party
|Member of the Grand National Assembly|
22 July 2007 –7 July 2018
|Constituency|| Diyarbakır (2007)|
|Born||10 April 1973|
Palu, Elazığ, Turkey
|Political party|| Democratic Society Party |
Peace and Democracy Party
Peoples' Democratic Party
|Relatives||Nurettin Demirtaş (brother)|
|Alma mater||Ankara University|
Selahattin Demirtaş (
The Zazas are a people in eastern Anatolia who natively speak the Zaza language. Their heartland, the Dersim region, consists of Tunceli, Bingöl provinces and parts of Elazığ, Erzincan and Diyarbakır provinces. The majority of Zazas consider themselves ethnic Kurds and they are often described as Zaza Kurds.
The Grand National Assembly of Turkey, usually referred to simply as the TBMM or Parliament, is the unicameral Turkish legislature. It is the sole body given the legislative prerogatives by the Turkish Constitution. It was founded in Ankara on 23 April 1920 in the midst of the National Campaign. The parliament was fundamental in the efforts of Mareşal Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, 1st President of the Republic of Turkey, and his colleagues to found a new state out of the remnants of the Ottoman Empire.
Selahattin Demirtaş was born in a Zaza-speaking familyin Elazığ in 1973 where he completed both his primary and secondary education. He cites his experience at the funeral of politician Vedat Aydın as a political awakening:
Elazığ is a city in Eastern Anatolia, Turkey, and the administrative center of Elazığ Province. It is located in the uppermost Euphrates valley. The plain on which the city extends has an altitude of 1067 metres. Elazığ resembles an inland peninsula surrounded by the natural Lake Hazar and reservoirs of Keban Dam, Karakaya Dam, Kıralkızı and Özlüce.
I became a different person. My life's course changed … although I didn't fully understand the reason behind the events, now I knew: we were Kurds, and since this wasn't an identity I would toss away, this was also my problem."
Upon graduation from secondary school, he took the university entrance exam and started his college education in Dokuz Eylül University in the Department of Maritime Commerce and Management, where he would face political problems that would force him to leave school without finishing his degree. He returned to Diyarbakır and retook the university entrance exam, after which he enrolled at Ankara University Law Faculty. After college, Demirtaş worked as a freelance lawyer for a time before becoming a member of the executive committee of the Diyarbakır branch of the Human Rights Association (IHD). The IHD Chair at the time was Osman Baydemir who was elected as the mayor of Diyarbakır at the following local election, when Demirtaş replaced him as the chair of the Diyarbakır IHD. During his term as chair, the association focused heavily on the increasing unsolved political murders in Turkey.
Dokuz Eylül University (DEÜ) is a university in Turkey. It is located in İzmir, Turkey. It was founded in 1982 and is organized in 15 faculties. DEU is the first university which applied the problem-based learning method in Turkey, beginning in the School of Medicine in 1997.
The Ankara University, Law School is a faculty for law of the Ankara University in Turkey.
The Human Rights Association is an NGO for advancing Human rights in Turkey, founded in 1986 and headquartered in Ankara.
Demirtaş started his political career as a member of the Democratic Society Party (DTP) in 2007 at which time he stood as one of the 'Thousand Hope Candidates' for the DTP and several other democratic organizations in Turkey. He was elected to the 23rd Parliament and became the Parliamentary Chief Officer for the party at the age of 34.
The Democratic Society Party was a Kurdish nationalist political party in Turkey. The party considered itself social-democratic and had observer status in the Socialist International. It was considered to be the successor of the Democratic People's Party (DEHAP). On 11 December 2009, the Constitutional Court of Turkey banned the DTP, ruling that the party has become "focal point of activities against the indivisible unity of the state, the country and the nation". The ban has been widely criticized both by groups within Turkey and by several international organizations. The party was succeeded by the Peace and Democracy Party.
The Thousand Hope Candidates was an electoral alliance between four left-wing political parties in Turkey, formed in preparation for the 2007 general election. The alliance contested the election by fielding candidates from participating parties as independents in order to bypass the 10% election threshold needed to win seats in the Turkish Grand National Assembly. The alliance's candidates won a total of 1,334,518 votes and 22 seats in the election.
The DTP was closed down by a Supreme Court order in 2009 and the DTP MPs moved to the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP). The BDP held its first congress in 2010 and elected Selahattin Demirtaş and Gültan Kışanak as its new co-chairs. Demirtaş contested the 2011 elections as part of the joint 'Labor, Democracy and Freedom' list endorsed by the BDP and 18 different democratic political organizations, this time from Hakkari. He was re-elected to the 24th parliament.
Demirtaş was the co-chair of BDP during the period when the peace process and negotiations kick-started in Turkey. In 2014 Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ were elected as the co-chairs of the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) – a new initiative originating from a three-year-old coalition of the BDP and various different political parties and organization under the auspices of the Peoples' Democratic Congress (HDK) - for the 2014 presidential elections of Turkey, being one of three candidates and hoping to attract left-wing voters.He came third with 9.77% of the vote.
Demirtaş was co-leader along with Figen Yüksekdağ during the June 2015 Turkish general election, the party's first campaign in a general election. The HDP came in fourth place with 13.12% of the vote and 80 out of 550 seats. Celebrating the victory, he stated: "From now on, the HDP is Turkey's party. HDP is Turkey, Turkey is HDP."Demirtaş was officially announced as the candidate of the People's Democratic Party (HDP) on May 4, 2018 for the presidential election, after members of the party had hinted at his candidacy weeks in advance. Party leader Pervin Buldan declared that Demirtaş, the jailed former co-chair of the HDP, would be leading a five-party "Kurdish alliance" into the general election. He received 8.4% of the votes.
On November 4, 2016, Demirtaş was arrested along with Figen Yüksekdağ and other HDP MPs, accused of spreading propaganda for militants fighting the Turkish state.Demirtaş stated he is not a "manager, member, spokesperson, or sympathiser" of the armed PKK group. But he allegedly gave instructions to the pro-PKK groups and provoked them during the 6–8 October events and resulted to the death of 53 Kurdish people. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan blamed him for joining provocation and said that all Kurdish people are the citizens of Republic of Turkey, and no one can attempt to build a state for them.
On January 18, 2017, Turkish prosecutors announced they were seeking a 142-year prison sentence for Demirtaş.
On September 7, 2018 he got sentenced to 4 years and 8 months for a speech he had made at a Newroz celebration on the 20 March 2013.on November 20, 2018 the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled Demirtaş should be released from preliminary detention. On November 30, 2018 a court in Turkey ruled he shall remain detained despite the ECHR ruling to release him. According to the verdict, the ruling of the ECHR was not definitive and not binding. The sentence he received the 7 September 2018 was upheld on December 4, 2018 by an appeal court. On the 31 December 2018 the lawyers of Demirtaş appealed the sentence at the Constitutional Court. According to the New York Times more than hundred charges were brought against him.
Since 4 November 2016 he is detained in the prison in the F-Type prison Edirne,far away from Diyarbakir, where his family lives at. His wife visits him once a week.
Demirtaş is married to Başak Demirtaş and is the father of two girls, Delal and Dılda.[ citation needed ] Demirtaş has faced threats due to his political activity and on November 22, 2015 he survived an assassination attempt.
In detention, he wrote a book titled Seher containing 12 fictional short stories. The Turkish edition has reportedly sold more than 200,000 copies.The rights for the book in English was bought by Sarah Jessica Parker who published it under the title Dawn: Stories. The English version was released on April 23, 2019, under Parker's imprint SJP for Hogarth.
This article gives an overview of liberalism in Turkey.
Leyla Zana, is a Kurdish politician, who was imprisoned for 10 years for her political activism, which was deemed by the Turkish courts to be against the unity of the country. When she was a member of pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party, she was banned from joining any political party for five years with the Constitutional Court's decision to ban this party. She has been elected as an independent member of parliament for Diyarbakır by the support of Peace and Democracy Party.
Labour Party is a political party in Turkey. Its chairman is Selma Gürkan. The party was founded as Emek Partisi in 1996. Due to its ban by the Constitutional Court, it was refounded with the name Emeğin Partisi, the same year. In 2005, the name "Emek Partisi" was reinstalled after the European Court of Human Rights held the ban was a violation of Article 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
Nurettin Demirtaş is a former Kurdish politician of the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) and current member of the PKK.
Aysel Tuğluk is a pro-Kurdish Zaza politician and founding member of the Democratic Society Party (DTP) in Turkey. She graduated in law from Istanbul University and then worked as a lawyer. She was previously a member of the Social Law Researches Foundation Board Council.
The Peace and Democracy Party was a Kurdish political party in Turkey existing from 2008 to 2014.
Selma Irmak, is a Kurdish politician and former MP for the Peace and Democracy Party and People`s Democratic Party.
The Peoples' Democratic Party, or Democratic Party of the Peoples, is a pro-minority political party in Turkey. Generally left-wing, the party places a strong emphasis on participatory democracy, radical democracy, feminism, minority rights, youth rights and egalitarianism. It is an associate member of the Party of European Socialists (PES) and consultative member of the Socialist International.
Figen Yüksekdağ Şenoğlu is a Turkish politician and journalist, who was a former co-leader of the left-wing Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) of Turkey from 2014 to 2017, serving alongside Selahattin Demirtaş. She was a Member of Parliament for Van since the June 2015 general election until her parliamentary membership was revoked by the courts on 21 February 2017. Her party membership and therefore her co-leadership position were revoked by the courts on 9 March 2017 following a six-year prison sentence for allegedly distributing terrorist propaganda.
The Labour, Democracy and Freedom Bloc was an electoral alliance formed by the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) with several other smaller left-wing parties and political movements in Turkey. The alliance contested the 2011 general election by fielding candidates from participating parties as independents in order to bypass the 10% election threshold needed to win seats in the Turkish Grand National Assembly. The alliance won 5.67% of the vote, initially winning 36 MPs. The Supreme Electoral Council of Turkey later annulled the election of BDP MP Hatip Dicle in Diyarbakır, reducing the alliance's elected MPs to 35. The Bloc fielded 65 candidates in 41 provinces.
Dengir Mir Mehmet Fırat is a Kurdish politician who was one of the founders of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) in 2001. He served as a Member of Parliament for the Grand National Assembly from 1999 to 2011 and again since 2015 as a member of the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP).
The 2015 Diyarbakır Rally bombings occurred on 5 June 2015 in Diyarbakır, Turkey during an electoral rally of the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) at 17:55 local time. The bombing took place two days before the June 2015 general election and killed 5 supporters, injuring over 100.
The Peoples' Democratic Party election campaign of June 2015 was the official election campaign of the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) for the June 2015 general election in Turkey. the campaign was dominated by the party's co-leader Selahattin Demirtaş. It was the first time a pro-Kurdish party contested a general election as a political party rather than as independent candidates since the 2002 general election and the first time such a party won representation in Parliament.
İdris Baluken is a Turkish politician of Kurdish origin who currently serves as a parliamentary group leader of the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) since April 2014. He previously served as a parliamentary group leader for the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) from 2012 until the party's MPs joined the HDP in April 2014.
Selma Gürkan (1961) is a Turkish unionist and politician who has been the chairwoman of the Labour Party (EMEP) since 21 May 2011.
Serpil Kemalbay Pekgözegü is a politician in Turkey who currently serves as the co-leader of the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) since 20 May 2017, alongside Selahattin Demirtaş. She was elected as co-leader during the party's 3rd extraordinary congress to succeed Figen Yüksekdağ, who was stripped of her membership of the Grand National Assembly and her party membership on charges of supporting and aiding terrorism.
The 3rd Peoples' Democratic Party Extraordinary Congress was held on 20 May 2017 to elect a new female co-leader for the Turkish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP). The party's previous chairwoman, Figen Yüksekdağ, had been imprisoned in November 2016 for inciting violence and distributing terrorist propaganda and had her party membership revoked on 9 March 2017.
Selahattin Demirtaş was officially announced as the candidate of the People's Democratic Party (HDP) on 4 May 2018, after members of the party had hinted at his candidacy weeks in advance. Party leader Pervin Buldan declared that Demirtaş, a jailed former co-chair of the HDP, would be leading a five-party "Kurdish alliance" into the general election.
Başak Demirtaş is a Kurdish-Turkish teacher, author, and the wife of former HDP leader Selatattin Demirtaş, who she has been campaigning to get released from prison since 2016.
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