|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
|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, part of the Kurdish nation, and they are often described as Zaza Kurds. However, towards the end of the 20th century, a new movement of Zaza national self-consciousness, especially among the diaspora, has challenged previous notions of Kurdish ethnicity, and sought to establish themselves as their own distinctive people.
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.
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.
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 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."He was the presidential candidate for the HDP in the 2018 Presidential Elections and 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.
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, a jailed former co-chair of the HDP, would be leading a five-party "Kurdish alliance" into the general election. on September 7, 2018 he got sentenced to 4 years and 8 months for a speech he had made in 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 EuCHR ruling to release him. According to the verdict, the ruling of the ECHR was not definitive and not binding. . The September 7, 2018 sentence was upheld on December 4, 2018 by an appeal court. He is detained in the prison in Edirne, far away from Diyarbakir, where his family lives at. His wife visits him once a week. According to the New York Times more than hundred charges were brought against him.
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.
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