Doğu Perinçek

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Doğu Perinçek
Doğu Perinçek.jpg
Doğu Perinçek, 24 July 2005
Personal details
Born (1942-06-17)17 June 1942
Gaziantep, Turkey
Nationality Turkey
Political party Patriotic Party (Turkey)
Spouse(s) Şule Perinçek
Children Can Perinçek
Mehmet Bora Perinçek
Kiraz Perinçek
Zeynep Perinçek

Doğu Perinçek (born June 17, 1942) is a Turkish politician and lawyer who has been chairman of the socialist Patriotic Party (Turkish: Vatan Partisi) since 1992.[1]

In 2007, a ruling by a Swiss court made him the first person to receive a criminal conviction for denial of the Armenian genocide. He is a known Genocide denier.[2][3] The case was ultimately appealed to the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights, which in a 15 October 2015 judgment did not dispute the fact of the Armenian genocide but ruled in favour of Perinçek on grounds of free speech.

In August 2013 he was sentenced to aggravated life imprisonment as part of Turkey's Ergenekon trials, but he was released in 2014.

Background and personal life[edit]

Doğu Perinçek was born at Gaziantep in 1942[4] to Sadık Perinçek of Apçağa, Kemaliye, and Lebibe Olcaytu of Balaban, Darende. Sadık Perinçek was the Deputy Chief Prosecutor of the Supreme Court and a parliamentary deputy of the Justice Party (AP), the predecessor of the True Path Party (DYP).[5][6] Perinçek attended Ankara Sarar primary school, an Atatürk Lycee, and Bahçelievler Deneme high school.[4] He interrupted his university education to study German at the Goethe Institute in Germany, going on to finish Ankara University's Law faculty, and working as an assistant lecturer in public law.[4] He then completed a doctorate at the Otto-Suhr-Institut in Germany.[7]

Prior to his detention as part of the Ergenekon case, Perinçek resided in Gayrettepe, Istanbul with his wife Şule Perinçek. They have two daughters, Zeynep and Kiraz, and two sons, Can and Mehmet Bora.[4][8][9]


Doğu Perinçek graduated from Ankara University's Faculty of Law in June 1964 with a bachelor of laws and began as an assistant lecturer on public law (State Theory and Public Rights) upon graduation. In 1968 he graduated with a doctorate of Laws. His doctoral thesis was titled ‘Türkiye’de Siyasi Partilerin İç Düzeni ve Yasaklanması Rejimi’ (The Internal Arrangement of Political Parties in Turkey and the Regime of Banning Them).

Political career[edit]

Perinçek was involved in the relaunch of the magazine Aydınlık in 1968, and was one of the founders of the Revolutionary Workers and Peasants Party of Turkey (1971), and of the Türkiye İşçi Köylü Partisi that succeeded it in 1974.

Perinçek withdrew from active politics after the 1980 military coup. In 1987 he was involved with the launch of the weekly news magazine 2000'e Doğru.

In the 1990s he was involved with the founding of the short-lived Socialist Party and then the Workers' Party. He has been the Workers' Party's leader since its foundation in 1992.

Legal issues[edit]

In 1990, Perinçek was arrested and put in Diyarbakir Prison after the issue of the Law of Censorship and Exile.[7]

Perinçek is notable as being the first person to be convicted by a court of law for denial of the Armenian Genocide. On 9 March 2007, he was found guilty by a Swiss district court of conscious violation of Swiss laws against genocide denial with a racist motivation and was fined CHF 12,000. The case was a result of Perinçek's description of the Armenian genocide as "an international lie" at a demonstration in Lausanne on 25 July 2005; he later clarified to a Swiss court that there had been massacres, but reiterated his belief that these did not constitute genocide.[10] The verdict was confirmed by the Vaud cantonal appeal court on 19 June, and by the Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland on 12 December 2007.[11] Perinçek announced he will take recourse to the European Court of Human Rights.[12] In December 2013 the European Court of Human Rights ruled that Switzerland violated the principle of freedom of expression. The court said that "Mr Perincek was making a speech of a historical, legal and political nature in a contradictory debate".[13] After the ruling the government of Switzerland announced its decision to appeal the court’s ruling. On 3 June 2014 the European Court of Human Rights accepted the appeal to move on to the Grand Chamber to clarify the scope available to Swiss authorities in applying the Swiss Criminal Code to combat racism.[14][15] A preliminary hearing on the appeal by Switzerland was held on 28 January 2015.

The Grand Chamber ruled in favour of Perinçek on 15 October 2015.[16] In a statement issued by Armenia's counsel, Geoffrey Robertson and Amal Clooney said they were pleased the Court had endorsed their argument on behalf on Armenia. The judgment did not dispute the fact of the Armenian genocide and recognised Armenians' right under European law to have their dignity respected and protected, including the recognition of a communal identity forged through suffering following the annihilation of more than half their race by the Ottoman Turks.[17]

The Grand Chamber also made clear that the court was not required to determine whether the massacres and mass deportations suffered by the Armenian people at the hands of the Ottoman Empire from 1915 onwards can be characterised as genocide within the meaning of that term under international law. It also added that it has no authority to make legally binding pronouncements, one way or the other, on this point. Furthermore, 7 judges, including then-President of the European Court of Human Rights Dean Spielmann stated, that it is self-evident that the massacres and deportations suffered by the Armenian people constituted genocide and that the Armenian genocide is a clearly established historical fact.[18]

In Turkey, on 21 March 2008, Perinçek was detained as part of an investigation into the organization named Ergenekon. This followed the arrest and detention of 39 suspects in January 2008 during raids targeting Ergenekon.

The investigation's indictment also contains similar allegations, made by the National Intelligence Organization.[19] Upon receiving news of Perinçek's arrest, Russian Eurasianist ideologue Aleksandr Dugin said "this operation against a pro-Russian group in Turkey has shown who our friends and foes are".[20] This prompted allegations that he was affiliated with the group, which he adamantly denied.[21] On 5 August 2013 Perinçek was sentenced to aggravated life imprisonment.[22] On 10 March 2014, Doğu Perinçek was released from prison together with many other prisoners.[23]

Selected books[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b c d Biography at the Wayback Machine (archived April 24, 2011), personal site (Turkish)
  5. ^ "PERİNÇEK SOYADININ HİKAYESİ" (in Turkish). 2005-10-07. Archived from the original on 2011-07-21. Retrieved 2008-09-21. 
  6. ^ "DOĞU PERİNÇEK'İN DÖRT KOLDAN SOYAĞACI" (in Turkish). Archived from the original on 2011-07-21. Retrieved 2008-09-21. 
  7. ^ a b Ayik, Zeki (1996-11-26). "Perincek: 'I am the architect of the struggle against the Mafia-Gladio dictatorship'". Turkish Daily News. Archived from the original on 2008-10-25.  See "Who is Perincek?"
  8. ^ Arman, Ayşe (2001-06-10). "En yakışıklı bilimsel sosyalist". Hürriyet (in Turkish). Retrieved 2008-08-07. 
  9. ^ "Perinçek: Hz. Muhammed büyük devrim lideri". NTV-MSNBC (in Turkish). 2007-07-17. Retrieved 2008-08-07. 
  10. ^ "Turkish politician fined over genocide denial". Swissinfo with agencies. 2007-03-09. 
  11. ^ Decision no. 6B_398/2007 (French)
  12. ^ "Genozid an Armeniern anerkannt," AP and SDA via Tages-Anzeiger, 19 December 2007 (German)
  13. ^
  14. ^ European Rights Court Agrees to Hear Swiss Appeal on Perincek Ruling. Asbarez. 3 June 2014. Retrieved 3 June 2014
  15. ^ Völkermord-Urteil wird überprüft. (German) Neue Zürcher Zeitung. 3 June 2014. Retrieved 3 June 2014
  16. ^
  17. ^ "Robertson, Clooney Issue Statement on ECHR Ruling". 
  18. ^ ECHR Grand Chamber Judgment, 2015
  19. ^ Kesler, Musa (2008-08-15). "Putin'in adamları Ergenekon dosyasında". Milliyet (in Turkish). Retrieved 2008-10-14.  |section= ignored (help)
  20. ^ Bilici, Abdulhamit (2008-04-05). "Only foreign support to Ergenekon". Today's Zaman. Retrieved 2008-10-14. 
  21. ^ Akkan, Faruk; Niyazbayev, Yasar (2008-10-29). "'I support neo-Eurasianism, not Ergenekon,' says Dugin". Today's Zaman. Retrieved 2008-10-30. 
  22. ^ Today's Zaman, 5 August 2013, Long sentences for Ergenekon suspects, life for ex-army chief
  23. ^ BBC Türkçe, Ergenekon davası: Doğu Perinçek de tahliye edildi, 10. März 2014.

External links[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by
newly founded
Leader of the Workers' Party (İP)
Jul 10, 1992–present
Succeeded by