Democracy Party (Turkey)

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Freedom and Democracy Party
Turkish: Özgürlük ve Demokrasi Partisi, ÖZDEP
Leader Leyla Zana
Founded May 7, 1993 (1993-05-07)
Banned June 16, 1994 (1994-06-16)
Preceded by People's Labor Party
Freedom and Democracy Party
Succeeded by People's Democracy Party
Ideology Social democracy
Kurdish nationalism
Political position Centre-left

The Democracy Party (Turkish: Demokrasi Partisi, DEP) was a pro-Kurdish political party in Turkey. It was founded in May 1993 by several prominent members of the People's Labor Party (HEP). The party became divided over the issue of the PKK, and two factions - moderate and radical - appeared. Due to its promotion of Kurdish nationalism the party was banned by the Constitutional Court on 16 June 1994. Six DEP deputies were arrested and sentenced to 15 years in prison.[1]

Prominent party members included Leyla Zana, Mahmut Alınak, Hatip Dicle, Orhan Doğan, Ahmet Türk, Sırrı Sakık, Zübeyir Aydar and Selim Sadak.

It was succeeded by the People's Democracy Party (HADEP) established in May 1994.

In 2002, the European Court of Human Rights held DP's dissolution to be contrary to Article 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights (freedom of association).[2]


  1. ^ Güney 2002, 125.
  2. ^ ECtHR judgment on application no. 25141/94(in French)


  • Güney, Aylin (2002). "The People's Democracy Party". Turkish Studies. 3 (1): 122–137.