Peace and Democracy Party

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Peace and Democracy Party
Barış ve Demokrasi Partisi
Partiya Aştî û Demokrasiyê
LeaderSelahattin Demirtaş
Gültan Kışanak
Founded3 May 2008
Dissolved11 July 2014
Preceded byDemocratic Society Party
Succeeded byPeoples' Democratic Party
Democratic Regions Party
HeadquartersAnkara, Turkey
IdeologyKurdish minority rights[1]
Emancipation of women[1]
Kurdish nationalism[2]
Political positionCentre-left to left-wing
National affiliationLabour, Democracy and Freedom Bloc
European affiliationParty of European Socialists (observer)
International affiliationSocialist International (consultative)

The Peace and Democracy Party (Turkish: Barış ve Demokrasi Partisi, Kurdish: Partiya Aştî û Demokrasiyê, BDP) was a Kurdish political party in Turkey existing from 2008 to 2014.[3]


BDP succeeded the Democratic Society Party (DTP) in 2008, following the closure of the latter party for its alleged connections with the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK). The BDP was co-chaired by Selahattin Demirtaş and Gültan Kışanak. One-third of its representatives were Alevi.[4]

The Deputy Chairs were Pervin Buldan and İdris Baluken.[5] In the elections the BDP supported the Labour, Democracy and Freedom Bloc, which achieved the election of 35 Members of Parliament.[6]

After municipal elections on 30 March 2014, Berivan Elif Kilic became the co-mayor of Kocaköy, a farming town of 17,000 people in Turkey’s Kurdish region. Kilic shared the post of mayor with her male running mate, Affullah Kar, a former Imam. Under BDP party rules, all top positions are split between a man and a woman, in an effort to promote women’s participation in politics.[7]


The party chairman has called for the PKK to disarm.[8] The BDP had observer status in the Socialist International.[9] BDP supported Turkey's membership in the European Union,[10] same-sex marriages in Turkey,[11] an anti-discrimination law to protect LGBT people[10] and also wants the Government of Turkey to recognize the Armenian genocide.[12]

Peoples' Democratic Party[edit]

Pro-minority rights and feminist Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) acted as the fraternal party to BDP. At the 2014 municipal elections, HDP ran parallel to BDP, with the BDP running in Turkey's Kurdish-dominated southeast while the HDP competed in the rest of the country[13] except Mersin Province and Konya Province where BDP launched its own candidates.[14]

After the local elections, the two parties were re-organised in a joint structure. On 28 April 2014, the entire parliamentary caucus of BDP joined HDP, whereas BDP was assigned exclusively to representatives on the local administration level.[15][16]

Legal prosecution[edit]

The BDP has reported that between April 2009 and October 2011 more than 7500 BDP members were detained and over 3000 were arrested.[17]


At the 3rd Congress of the party on 11 July 2014, the name was changed to the Democratic Regions Party and a new structure restricting activities on the local/regional government level was adopted.[18]


  1. ^ a b "Our Office". Peace and Democracy Party – US Representative Office. Archived from the original on 1 March 2014. Retrieved 23 February 2014.
  2. ^ The Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) is the current incarnation of the Kurdish nationalist party in Turkey, Andrew Finkel, Turkey: What Everyone Needs to Know, Oxford University Press, 2012, s. 122.
  3. ^ "Peace and Democracy Party (Turkey)". Retrieved 2017-09-25.
  4. ^ Archived 2013-07-06 at the Wayback Machine Alevi Kurds' problem,
  5. ^ "Pro-Kurdish deputies pay 12th visit to jailed PKK leader". Sunday's Zaman. 2013-11-09. Archived from the original on 2013-11-11. Retrieved 2013-11-25.
  6. ^ Heper, Metin; Öztürk-Tunçel, Duygu; Criss, Nur Bilge (2018). Historical Dictionary of Turkey. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 163. ISBN 978-1-5381-0225-1.
  7. ^ "The Daily Beast". The Daily Beast.
  8. ^ BDP chairman calls on PKK to lay down arms Archived 2012-06-24 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ "Member Parties of the Socialist International". Socialist International.
  10. ^ a b "About Peace and Democracy Party". BDP. Archived from the original on 29 October 2013. Retrieved 10 August 2013.
  11. ^ "BDP'nin eşcinsel evlilik isteği tartışılıyor". Haber 10 (in Turkish). 15 May 2013. Retrieved 10 August 2013.
  12. ^ "BDP urges Turkey to offer apology to Armenians". Hurriyet Daily News. 14 April 2013. Retrieved 10 August 2013.
  13. ^ Cengiz, Orhan Kemal (31 October 2013). "New Kurdish Party Could Impact Local Turkish Elections". Sibel Utku Bila (trans.). Al-Monitor. Retrieved 24 February 2014.
  14. ^ ADAYLARIMIZ Archived 2014-03-08 at the Wayback Machine, BDP official website
  15. ^ "BDP milletvekilleri HDP'ye katıldı". Al-Monitor. 28 April 2014. Retrieved 24 February 2014.
  16. ^ "BDP artık Meclis'te yok". 28 April 2014.
  17. ^ "7748 Kurds in Turkish custody - 3895 Arrested in 30 months in the scope of KCK operations". Ekurd Daily. Retrieved 2 April 2020.
  18. ^ "BDP'nin adı Demokratik Bölgeler Partisi oldu". Evrensel. 11 July 2014. Retrieved 24 February 2015.

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