Democracy Party (Turkey)

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Freedom and Democracy Party
Turkish: Özgürlük ve Demokrasi Partisi, ÖZDEP
LeaderLeyla Zana
FoundedMay 7, 1993 (1993-05-07)
BannedJune 16, 1994 (1994-06-16)
Preceded byFreedom and Democracy Party
Succeeded byPeople's Democracy Party
IdeologySocial democracy
Kurdish nationalism
Political positionCentre-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.