Ayhan Bilgen

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Ayhan Bilgen
Ayhan Bilgen.jpg
Ayhan Bilgen (2017)
Mayor of Kars
In office
31 March 2019 – 2 October 2020
Member of the Grand National Assembly
In office
June 2015 – June 2018
Personal details
BornSarıkamıs, Kars Province
Alma materAnkara University, Hacettepe University

Ayhan Bilgen (born 1970, Sarıkamış, Kars Province)[1] is a journalist, politician and former mayor of Kars from the Peoples' Democratic Party.

Early life and education[edit]

He studied political sciences at the Ankara University and Sociology at the Haceteppe University, also in Ankara.[1]

In 2006 he was engaged in the Turkish Human Rights association Mazlumder in which activity he opposed the new Anti-Terror bill by the Turkish Government as it limited the freedom of expression.[2] In the same year he was elected as its chairman, and he kept the post for two years.[3] In 2011 the newspaper he was the editor in chief of, Günlük, was closed by the Turkish authorities[4] due to suspected support of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).[5] He was also a columnist for the newspapers Özgür Gündem and Evrensel.[3]

Political career[edit]

He was elected to the Turkish parliament for Kars as a representative for the HDP in the general election of June 2015,[6] and again the snap elections of November 2015.[7] He supported the defense of Kobani against the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) in Kobani and was prosecuted for taking part in manifestations in October 2014[8] during the Siege of Kobani. He was arrested in spring 2017 and released in September of the same year.[8] During his parliamentary career he advocated for Human Rights, Kurdish rights and the protection of the environment.[9] In the local elections of March 2019 he was elected the Mayor of Kars.[10] In May 2020, after several Municipalities won by the HDP were put under the authority of state appointed trustees, Bilgen received the support from dozens of human rights organization.[11] On 25 September 2020, he was detained together with several prominent HDP politicians like former deputies Sırrı Sureyya Önder and Ayla Akat Ata due to the Kobani protests which where held in support for the Kurdish population in the Syrian town of Kobani in 2014, which was then besieged by ISIL.[12] On 2 October 2020, he was formally arrested and deposed as Mayor of Kars[13] and replaced by a government-appointed trustee, the governor of Kars Province, Eyüp Tepe.[14][15]

Legal prosecution[edit]

After he was arrested in October 2020, he was transferred to the Ankara Sincan Prison and was found not guilty of terrorism related charges in the Özgür Gündem trial on the 15 October 2020.[16]


  1. ^ a b "Ayhan Bilgen Kimdir ? - Ayhan Bilgen Hayatı ve Biyografisi". www.haberler.com. Retrieved 2020-05-17.
  2. ^ "New Anti-Terror Bill Incites More Violence". Bianet. Retrieved 17 May 2020.
  3. ^ a b "Ayhan Bilgen kimdir? Ayhan Bilgen nereli?". Haberler.com (in Turkish). Retrieved 2020-09-25.
  4. ^ "itemid":%5b"001-116134"%5d} "CASE OF GÜDENOĞLU AND OTHERS v. TURKEY". European Court of Human Rights. Retrieved 17 May 2020.
  5. ^ ""Günlük" newspaper banned over alleged "terrorist propaganda"". IFEX. 2009-08-28. Retrieved 2020-05-17.
  6. ^ Şafak, Yeni (2020-05-17). "Kars Election Result 2015 - General Election 2015". Yeni Şafak (in Turkish). Retrieved 2020-05-17.
  7. ^ Şafak, Yeni (2020-05-17). "Kars Election Result 2015 - November 2015 General Election". Yeni Şafak (in Turkish). Retrieved 2020-05-17.
  8. ^ a b "Arrested HDP MP Bilgen To Be Released Pending Trial". Bianet. Retrieved 17 May 2020.
  9. ^ "HDP Delegation Not Allowed into Dersim". Bianet. Retrieved 17 May 2020.
  10. ^ Şafak, Yeni (2020-05-17). "Kars Election Results – March 31 2019 Kars Local Election results". Yeni Şafak (in Turkish). Retrieved 2020-05-17.
  11. ^ "122 Institutions Express Support for Kars Co-Mayors Bilgen and Alaca". Bianet. Retrieved 17 May 2020.
  12. ^ "Turkish police detain dozens of HDP members, including Mayor Bilgen, over 2014 Kobane protests". www.duvarenglish.com. Retrieved 2020-09-25.
  13. ^ "Co-Mayor Ayhan Bilgen arrested, trustee appointed to Kars Municipality". Bianet. 2 October 2020. Retrieved 2 October 2020.
  14. ^ "Ayhan Bilgen sacked by the ministry of Interior". Milliyet (in Turkish). 2020-10-02. Retrieved 2020-10-02.
  15. ^ "Trustee replaces Kars mayor dismissed in pro-PKK probe targeting 2014 Kobani riots". Daily Sabah. Retrieved 2020-10-02.
  16. ^ "HDP's Ayhan Bilgen acquitted in 'Özgür Gündem' trial". Bianet. Retrieved 2020-10-18.