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Mithat Sancar (born 1963) is a Turkish professor of public and constitutional law, columnist and translator. Since the June 2015 general election he is a member of the Turkish parliament for Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP).

Mithat Sancar

Mithat Sancar 2015 (portrait).jpg
Mithat Sancar, 2015
Deputy Speaker of the Grand National Assembly
Assumed office
20 February 2018
Speakerİsmail Kahraman (2018)
Binali Yıldırım (2018- )
Serving with
Preceded byPervin Buldan
Member of the Grand National Assembly
Assumed office
7 June 2015
ConstituencyMardin (June 2015, Nov 2015, 2018)
Personal details
Born1963 (age 55–56)
Nusaybin, Turkey
Political partyPeople's Democratic Party (HDP)
Spouse(s)Türkan Sancar
Alma materAnkara University
ProfessionConstitutional law scholar



Early life and academic careerEdit

Born 1963 in Nusaybin, Sancar attended high school in Diyarbakır before going to Ankara University, where he graduated majoring in public law. In 1995, following his graduation, he received his Ph.D. in constitutional law with a thesis on the "Interpretation of Basic Rights" (Turkish: Temel Hakların Yorumu).[1]

From 1985-1990, he was employed as a research assistant in the Faculty of Law of the Dicle University.[2] Since 1999, he has been a lecturer and since 2007 a full professor at Ankara University.[1] Together with fellow scholar Tanıl Bora [de], he translated Jürgen Habermas' first major work "Strukturwandel der Öffentlichkeit" into the Turkish language.

Political activismEdit

Mithat Sancar is one of the founders of the Ankara-based Human Rights Foundation (TİHV, est. 1990) and the Institute of Human Rights [tr] (TİHAK, est. 1999). Between 1998 and 2003, Sancar and his colleague Tanıl Bora organized the Human Rights Association's (İHD) annual conference on the Human rights movement in Turkey.

Since 2007, he has been a columnist for the leftist BirGün newspaper. He also wrote for the newspapers Taraf.

Parliamentary careerEdit

Ahead of the June 2015 general election, Sancar was asked by HDP leader Selahattin Demirtaş, one of his former students, to run for parliament. After some hesitation, he agreed to suspend his academic career in order to help the HDP over the 10% threshold.[1] Heading the party's electoral list in the Mardin constituency, he was elected a member of the Grand National Assembly. In the subsequent November 2015 snap election and in the General Election 2018 he was reelected.[3] He is currently a Deputy Speaker of the Grand National Assembly.

In November 2015, Sancar and Erol Dora joined fellow MPs Gülser Yıldırım and Ali Atalan in their hunger strike to protest the ongoing state of exception curfew in the border town of Nusaybin, where since November 13[4] and under the pretext of operating against militant YDG-H members, 70% of the neighborhoods have been cut from electricity, 30% from water supply.[5]

Legal prosecutionEdit

According to an interview he gave Sancar was accused of having insulted the President for having declared the Turkish government was in part responsible for the terrorist attack against a HDP rally in Ankara and for having also said to the authorities that a conflict should be prevented in Cizre. Then he is also prosecuted for Propaganda for the PKK because he has supported the opening of Kurdish schools.[6]

Personal lifeEdit

Sancar is the cousin of the laureate of the 2015 Nobel prize in Chemistry, Aziz Sancar.[7]

Sancar considers Arabic his native language, while Kurdish was the language he spoke on the street. Besides these, he speaks Turkish, English and German.[1]


  • Devlet Aklı” Kıskacında Hukuk Devleti (2000)[2]
  • Mülteciler veİltica Hakkı (2002, co-authored by Bülent Peker)
  • Geçmişle Hesaplaşma - Unutma Kültüründen Hatırlama Kültürüne (2007)


  1. ^ a b c d Beyza Kural (20 May 2015). "Sancar, Akademiden Meclis'e Giden Yolda Mardin'de" [Sancar, from Academia to Parliament via Merdin] (in Turkish). Bianet. Retrieved 21 November 2015.
  2. ^ a b Suavi Aydin, Meryem Erdal, Mithat Sancar, Eylem Ümit Atilgan (2011). Just Expectations: A Compilation of TESEV Research Studies on the Judiciary in Turkey. p. 146. ISBN 978-605-5832-63-6.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  3. ^ "Mithat SANCAR".
  4. ^ "2 HDP deputies go on hunger strike to end days-long Nusaybin curfew". Today's Zaman. 19 November 2015. Archived from the original on 20 November 2015. Retrieved 21 November 2015.
  5. ^ Rifat Başaran (21 November 2015). "Four HDP MPs start curfew hunger strike against Nusaybin curfew". Hürriyet Daily News. Retrieved 21 November 2015.
  6. ^ "Mithat Sancar: "Die HDP ist ein wichtiger Teil der demokratischen Internationale"". (in German). 2016-11-30. Retrieved 2019-03-03.
  7. ^ "Turkish-American scientist among winners of 2015 Nobel Prize in Chemistry". Today's Zaman. Archived from the original on 11 October 2015. Retrieved 12 October 2015.

External linksEdit