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.[1]

Ahmet Türk
Ahmet Türk.jpg
Mayor of Mardin
In office
30 March 2014 – 16 November 2016
Preceded bySüleyman Yıldız
Succeeded byMustafa Yaman
Leader of the Democratic Society Party
In office
17 August 2005 – 3 July 2007
Serving withAysel Tuğluk (until 25 June 2006)
Preceded byParty established
Succeeded byNurettin Demirtaş
Member of the Grand National Assembly
In office
22 July 2007 – 30 March 2014
ConstituencyMardin (2007, 2011)
In office
29 November 1987 – 24 December 1995
ConstituencyMardin (1987, 1991)
In office
14 October 1973 – 12 September 1980
ConstituencyMardin (1973, 1977)
Personal details
Born (1942-07-02) 2 July 1942 (age 80)
Derik, Mardin Province, Turkey
Political partyPeoples' Democratic Party (HDP)
Other political
Democratic Society Party (DTP)

Political careerEdit

He was elected MP for the Democratic Party (DP) representing Mardin province in 1973.[2] Later he resigned and joined the Republican People`s Party (CHP) and was re-elected as a deputy representing Mardin.[3] Following the military coup in 1980, he was removed from parliament,[4] arrested and sent to Diyarbakir Prison[5] for 22 months.[4] After his release he was active in different left wing parties. In 1987[6] 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.[4] Following he joined the newly founded Peoples Labor Party (HEP).[7] The SHP agreed again to an electoral alliance and in 1991 he was re-elected to parliament.[8] 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.[9] In July 1993 the HEP was prohibited by the Constitutional Court, alleging the party was pursuing aims contrary to the indivisibility of Turkey.[10] He then joined the Democracy Party (DEP) a successor party of the HEP established in May 1993.[11] 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.[11] In fact, several of the parties leaders had attended congresses attended also by PKK members ahead of the parties foundation congress.[11] Türks and five other DEP deputies parliamentary immunities were lifted in March 1994[12] and he was sent to prison for terror charges. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison.[13] He appealed and was released on the 27 October 1995.[14] 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.[15] He was again elected MP to the Turkish Parliament for Mardin on the 22 July 2007.[16] 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).[17] 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.[18] Türk appealed to the European Court of Human Rights and in 2016 Turkey was condemned to pay Türk 30`000€.[19] 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).[20]

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.[21] He was released on the 3 February 2017.[16] 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.[22] The Governor of Mardin Province Mustafa Yaman was appointed as a trustee.[23] 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.[24]

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.[25]

Political viewsEdit

He was also involved in the peace process between the PKK and Turkey and met Abdullah Öcalan together with Ayla Akat Ata in 2013.[26] 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."[1] He has supported the celebration of Newroz, the Kurdish new year[27] 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.[28]


  1. ^ a b "The final nail in the coffin of peace process in Turkey". Al-Monitor. 22 November 2016.
  2. ^ "Mardin SEÇİM SONUÇLARI". secim.haberler.com. Retrieved 23 August 2020.
  3. ^ "Mardin SEÇİM SONUÇLARI". secim.haberler.com. Retrieved 23 August 2020.
  4. ^ a b c Bilgin, Fevzi; Sarihan, Ali (20 June 2013). Understanding Turkey's Kurdish Question. Lexington Books. p. 136. ISBN 9780739184035.
  5. ^ "Ahmet Türk arrested". Bianet. 25 November 2016. Retrieved 19 August 2019.
  6. ^ "Mardin - 1987 Secim Sonuçları". www.secim-sonuclari.com. Retrieved 3 November 2019.
  7. ^ Watts, Nicole F. (1 July 2011). Activists in Office: Kurdish Politics and Protest in Turkey. University of Washington Press. ISBN 9780295800820.
  8. ^ "Mardin - 1991 Secim sonuçları". www.secim-sonuclari.com. Retrieved 3 November 2019.
  9. ^ Özcan, Ali Kemal (2006). Turkey's Kurds: A Theoretical Analysis of the PKK and Abdullah Ocalan. Routledge. p. 205. ISBN 9780415366878.
  10. ^ Güney, Aylin. "The People's Democracy Party" (PDF). Political Parties in Turkey: 124–125. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 13 September 2015.
  11. ^ a b c Watts, Nicole F. (18 November 2010). Activists in Office: Kurdish Politics and Protest in Turkey. University of Washington Press. p. 69. ISBN 978-0-295-99050-7.
  12. ^ Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (1994). Criminalizing Parliamentary Speech in Turkey. The Commission. p. 28.
  13. ^ Gunes, Cengiz (11 January 2013). The Kurdish National Movement in Turkey: From Protest to Resistance. Routledge. p. 164. ISBN 9781136587986.
  14. ^ "Human rights of parliamentarians". archive.ipu.org. Retrieved 8 November 2019.
  15. ^ Turkey : Human Rights Concerns in the Lead up to July Parliamentary Elections. Human Rights Watch. p. 13.
  16. ^ a b "Ahmet Türk Released". Bianet. 3 February 2017.
  17. ^ "Turkish court bans pro-Kurd party". BBC News. 11 December 2009. Archived from the original on 20 April 2010. Retrieved 23 April 2010.
  18. ^ Hacaoglu, Selcan (11 December 2009). "Turkey bans pro-Kurdish party over ties to rebels". Retrieved 11 December 2009.
  19. ^ Kurdistan24. "Turkey condemned for banning Kurdish party". Kurdistan24. Retrieved 24 September 2019.
  20. ^ "Turkish Intellectuals Who Have Recognized The Armenian Genocide: Ahmet Türk". Armenian News By MassisPost. 3 March 2016. Retrieved 1 January 2019.
  21. ^ "Court arrests former Mardin mayor Ahmet Türk". Hurriyet Daily News. 24 November 2016. Retrieved 30 November 2016.
  22. ^ "Drei prokurdische Bürgermeister abgesetzt | DW | 19.08.2019". DW.COM (in German). Retrieved 19 August 2019.
  23. ^ "Corruption in Mardin municipality after government takeover: 13 people remanded in custody". Bianet - Bagimsiz Iletisim Agi. Retrieved 26 March 2021.
  24. ^ "Turkish court acquits dismissed HDP mayor Ahmet Türk". www.duvarenglish.com. 14 February 2020. Retrieved 21 May 2020.
  25. ^ "Turkish prosecutor seeks political ban on 687 pro-Kurdish politicians". www.duvarenglish.com (in Turkish). 18 March 2021. Archived from the original on 12 April 2021. Retrieved 19 March 2021.
  26. ^ "Ahmet Türk Arrested". Bianet. 25 November 2016. Retrieved 9 February 2020.
  27. ^ "24 hurt as Turkish police clash with Kurds at New Kurdish Year celebrations". ekurd.net. Retrieved 21 May 2020.
  28. ^ "Kurdish Leader Apologizes for Role in Genocide". Asbarez.com. 4 February 2013. Retrieved 1 January 2019.