Ahmet Türk (born 2 July 1942, Derik, Turkey) is a Turkish politician of Kurdish origin from the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP). He has been a member of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey for several terms and was elected twice as the Mayor of Mardin. He was born into a family of Kurdish clan and tribal chiefs in southeastern Turkey.
|Mayor of Mardin|
30 March 2014 – 16 November 2016
|Preceded by||Süleyman Yıldız|
|Succeeded by||Mustafa Yaman|
|Leader of the Democratic Society Party|
17 August 2005 – 3 July 2007
|Serving with||Aysel Tuğluk (until 25 June 2006)|
|Preceded by||Party established|
|Succeeded by||Nurettin Demirtaş|
|Member of the Grand National Assembly|
22 July 2007 – 30 March 2014
|Constituency||Mardin (2007, 2011)|
29 November 1987 – 24 December 1995
|Constituency||Mardin (1987, 1991)|
14 October 1973 – 12 September 1980
|Constituency||Mardin (1973, 1977)|
|Born||2 July 1942|
Derik, Mardin Province, Turkey
|Political party||Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP)|
|Democratic Society Party (DTP)|
He was elected MP for the Democratic Party (DP) representing Mardin province in 1973. Later he resigned and joined the Republican People`s Party (CHP) and was re-elected as a deputy representing Mardin. Following the military coup in 1980, he was removed from parliament, arrested and sent to Diyarbakir Prison for 22 months. After his release he was active in different left wing parties. In 1987 he was elected to parliament as a representative of Mardin on behalf of the Social Democratic Populist Party (SHP) but got expelled from the party in 1989 for attending a Kurdish Conference in Brussels. Following he joined the newly founded Peoples Labor Party (HEP). The SHP agreed again to an electoral alliance and in 1991 he was re-elected to parliament. He supported an eventual peace process between the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and the Turkish Government, and in April 1993 he travelled to Bar Elias, Lebanon to attend jointly with Jamal Talabani and Kemal Burkay a press conference where a unilateral ceasefire was announced by Abdullah Öcalan. In July 1993 the HEP was prohibited by the Constitutional Court, alleging the party was pursuing aims contrary to the indivisibility of Turkey. He then joined the Democracy Party (DEP) a successor party of the HEP established in May 1993. The DEP was supportive of the PKK and elected Hatip Dicle as its party chair, who reasoned that the PKK was not a terrorist party and should be classified a political party. In fact, several of the parties leaders had attended congresses attended also by PKK members ahead of the parties foundation congress. Türks and five other DEP deputies parliamentary immunities were lifted in March 1994 and he was sent to prison for terror charges. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison. He appealed and was released on the 27 October 1995. Türk was the chairman of the former pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party (DTP) in Turkey and was a member of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey. On 26 February 2007, as the acting president of the DTP, he was sentenced together with vice-president Sebahat Tuncel to 18 months imprisonment for having used the Kurdish language in a leaflet of the DTP women wing, for the International Women`s Day on 8 March. Then on 6 March 2007 he was convicted to 6 months imprisonment for calling Abdullah Öcalan "Mister" (Sayin), but the sentence was suspended. He was again elected MP to the Turkish Parliament for Mardin on the 22 July 2007. However on 11 December 2009, the Constitutional Court of Turkey voted to ban the DTP, accusing it of connection with the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK). Türk was expelled from the Grand National Assembly and he and 36 other party members were banned from joining any political party for five years. Türk appealed to the European Court of Human Rights and in 2016 Turkey was condemned to pay Türk 30`000€. In April 2010 he was attacked by İsmail Çelik who beat him and broke his nose. Çelik first received a prison sentence of 11 months and 20 days, which was later changed into a fine of 7000 Turkish Liras (about $300 USD).
Mayor of MardinEdit
In the 2014 local elections, Ahmet Türk was elected mayor of Mardin, associated with the Democratic Regions Party (DBP). However, on 21 November 2016 he was detained "on terror charges" after being dismissed from office by Turkish authorities, and a trustee was appointed as an acting mayor instead. He was released on the 3 February 2017. In the Turkish local elections 2019 he was re-elected as mayor of Mardin. In August 2019 he was dismissed again by the Interior Ministry due to accusations for supporting terrorism. The Governor of Mardin Province Mustafa Yaman was appointed as a trustee. Türk was accused of having attended a funeral of member of the Peoples Protection Units (YPG) in Mazidagi in 2015, but in February 2020, a court acquitted him from the charges.
Further legal prosecutionEdit
On the 17 March 2021, the state prosecutor Bekir Şahin demanded for him and 686 other HDP politicians a five-year ban to engage in politics together with a closure of the HDP due to the parties alleged organizational unity with the PKK.
He was also involved in the peace process between the PKK and Turkey and met Abdullah Öcalan together with Ayla Akat Ata in 2013. He has been described as "the most peaceful, most inclusive, most anti-violence, most moderate and wisest figure of the Kurdish political movement, and the one most likely to compromise." He has supported the celebration of Newroz, the Kurdish new year and in his aim to reconcile with the victims of the Genocide during World War I he has apologized to the Assyrian, Yazidi and Armenian population for the role of the Kurds in the genocide.
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- "Turkish court bans pro-Kurd party". BBC News. 11 December 2009. Archived from the original on 20 April 2010. Retrieved 23 April 2010.
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