Gültan Kışanak

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Gültan Kışanak
Gülten Kışanak (cropped).jpg
Mayor of Diyarbakır
In office
31 March 2014 – 30 October 2016
Preceded by Osman Baydemir
Succeeded by Cumali Atilla
Personal details
Born (1961-05-15) May 15, 1961 (age 56)
Elazığ, Turkey

Gültan Kışanak (born 15 June 1961, Elâzığ, Turkey) is a Turkish politician of the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) in Turkey.

Studying journalism at Ege University, Izmir, she worked as a journalist for various newspapers. She has been Project Consultant in Diyarbakır and Municipal Coordinator for many projects. She is married with one child.

She stood successfully as an independent in the 2007 parliamentary election in Turkey and became an MP for Diyarbakır. During the campaign she was quoted as saying "This election is important because Turkey is at the crossroads. Either it is going to opt for developing democratic alternatives or will bring the oppressive policies back on to the agenda. We are hoping for the democratic forces to come out of these elections much stronger and help to establish the options of democracy dialog and peace. We'll search for solutions not in violence, but in parliament."[1]

She featured in the 2008 film “What a beautiful democracy” about the struggle of Turkish women running for parliament.[2] At the beginning of 2009 it was reported that she had prepared a bill to enable the Kurdish language to be used in the public space.[3][4]

In 2014 she was elected first female mayor of Diyarbakır. On 25 October 2016 she was detained by Turkish authorities, as was co-mayor Fırat Anlı, "on thinly supported charges of being a member of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK)".[5] The Turkish government ordered a general internet blackout after the arrest.[6] Nevertheless, on 26 October, several thousand demonstrators at Diyarbakir city hall demanded the mayors’ release.[5] In November, public prosecutors demanded a 230-year prison sentence for Kışanak.[7]

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