Figen Yüksekdağ

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Figen Yüksekdağ
Figen Yüksekdağ.jpg
Chairwoman of the Peoples' Democratic Party
In office
22 June 2014 – 9 March 2017
Preceded byErtuğrul Kürkçü
& Sebahat Tuncel
Succeeded bySerpil Kemalbay
Member of the Grand National Assembly
In office
7 June 2015 – 21 February 2017
ConstituencyVan (June 2015, Nov 2015)
Leader of the Socialist Party of the Oppressed
In office
29 January 2010 – 7 September 2014
Preceded byparty established
Succeeded bySultan Ulusoy
Personal details
Figen Yüksekdağ Şenoğlu

Adana, Turkey
Political partySocialist Party of the Oppressed
Peoples' Democratic Party

Figen Yüksekdağ Şenoğlu[1][2] (born 1971) was a former co-leader of the left-wing Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) of Turkey from 2014 to 2017, serving alongside Selahattin Demirtaş. She was a Member of Parliament for Van since the June 2015 general election until her parliamentary membership was revoked by the courts on 21 February 2017.[3] Her party membership and therefore her co-leadership position were revoked by the courts on 9 March 2017 following a six-year prison sentence for allegedly distributing terrorist propaganda.[4]

Life and work[edit]

Figen Yüksekdağ grew up as the ninth of ten children in a rural household in the village Gölovası, Yumurtalık, in the Adana electoral district. She describes her family as devout, conservative and nationalistic. Nevertheless, her father made a point that his daughters were studying and were successful. During her time in high school, she began to engage in political activities and joined the labor movement. When she was arrested on an International Workers' Day demonstration, this led to conflicts in the family. At the age of 18 she left home and went to Istanbul; later the relationship to her family normalized again.[5][6]

She was an independent parliamentary candidate for the Adana electoral district in the 2002 general election. She was involved in women's rights movements for several years before becoming the editor of the Socialist Woman magazine. While serving on the board of the Atılım newspaper, she was taken into custody in 2009 due to her political activity. She cofounded the Socialist Party of the Oppressed (ESP)[7] shortly after in 2010 and resigned as leader in 2014 to join the HDP, with which the ESP merged later the same year. During the second ordinary congress of the HDP, she was elected the co-leader of the HDP.[8] She was elected as an MP on the 7 June 2015. She got stripped of the parliamentary immunity in May 2016 and arrested on the 3 November 2016 because she allegedly did not cooperate in terror related investigations.[9] On the 11 April 2017 she got sentence to 1 year in prison for terror propaganda.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ ESP Genel Başkanı; Figen Yüksekdağ
  2. ^ EZİLENLERİN SOSYALİST PARTİSİ (ESP) Archived 2015-04-02 at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^
  4. ^üksekdağın-hdp-üyeliği-düşürüldü/a-37874506
  5. ^ Laura Secorun Palet (6 April 2015). "Meet Figen Yüksekdağ, Turkey's Political Firestarter". Huffigton Post. Retrieved 2 November 2015.
  6. ^ Pinar Tremblay (11 February 2015). "Kurdish women's movement reshapes Turkish politics". Al-Monitor. Retrieved 2 November 2015.
  7. ^ Yvo Fitzherbert (21 July 2015). "Suruç massacre: today we mourn, tomorrow we rebuild". Roar Magazine. Retrieved 23 July 2015.
  8. ^ "ESP'nin Genel Başkanı Bir Kadın: Figen Yüksekdağ - kadın-lgbti". Bianet - Bagimsiz Iletisim Agi.
  9. ^ Welle (, Deutsche. "Arrest of Kurdish politicians in Turkey threatens further upheaval | DW | 06.11.2016". DW.COM. Retrieved 2019-01-12.
  10. ^ Kurdistan24. "Turkey court sentences pro-Kurdish leader to one year in prison". Kurdistan24. Retrieved 2019-01-12.