Ufuk Uras

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Mehmet Ufuk Uras (Turkish pronunciation: [uˈfuk uˈɾas]; born January 4, 1959, in Üsküdar district of İstanbul, Turkey) is a Turkish libertarian politician and economist.

Biography and political career[edit]

Uras graduated from the Faculty of Economics of Istanbul University and began working as an academician at the same institution. A former leader of the now-defunct University Lecturers' Union (Öğretim Elemanları Sendikası), he was elected the chairman of Freedom and Solidarity Party (ÖDP) in 1996. Uras resigned from the leadership after the 2002 general election. He became the party chairman again in 2007.

2007 elections and after[edit]

Uras ran a successful campaign an independent and a "common candidate of the Left" within the Thousand Hopes alliance,[1] backed by Kurdish-based Democratic Society Party and several left-wing, environmentalist and pro-peace groups in the 2007 general election, polling 81,486 votes, which is approximately 4 per cent of the vote in his constituency.[2] After having elected as an independent to the parliament he rejoined the ÖDP.[1]

He was removed from his post as the ÖDP party leader in 2009, when his opponent Hayri Kozanoğlu was elected. He resigned from the Freedom and Solidarity Party on 19 June 2009.[3]

After the Democratic Society Party was dissolved in December 2009 and two of its MPs were banned from politics for five years, he joined forces with the remaining Kurdish MPs in the Peace and Democracy Party group, giving them the twenty seats necessary to retain their position as a parliamentary party. [4]

Post-parliamentarian political life[edit]

Uras did not run in the 2011 general election. On 25 November 2012, he became a co-founder and member of social liberal Greens and the Left Party of the Future, founded as a merger of the Greens and the Equality and Democracy Party. A polarizing figure, Uras's pro-government stance and libertarian politics were among the reasons why many former members of the Greens refused to join the Greens and the Left Party of the Future, and most of those who did quit in 2016.[5]

Gülen controversy[edit]

In 2013, Ufuk Uras created controversy when he accused undergraduate students at the Middle East Technical University of "cultural racism" when they protested the controversial Gülen movement's efforts to recruit members at their university.[6] Uras was also noted for accusing Akif Hamzaçebi from the main opposition party Republican People's Party (Turkey) of having a "porn cassette," referring to the alleged illegally obtained recordings of Hamzaçebi having sex.[7] However, there is no publicly available proof for a connection between Uras and the Gülen movement.

Personal life[edit]

Uras is married to ballet dancer and choreographer Zeynep Tanbay. Tanbay, like Uras, was a public face of the governing Sunni Islamist and neoliberal Justice and Development Party (Turkey) before the constitutional referendum in 2010—a critical event in the process through which the party monopolized power and embarked on creating the political regime in Turkey. Uras explained his support for the neoliberal Sunni Islamist regime with reference to a traumatized childhood, during which he was ostracized by his peers for performing the daily prayers. [8] Uras has a son named Deniz from a former marriage.


  • ÖDP Söyleşileri, 1999, Istanbul: Alan. ISBN 975-7414-77-8
  • Başka Bir Siyaset Mümkün, 2003, Istanbul: İthaki. ISBN 975-8725-79-3
  • İdeolojilerin Sonu mu?, 2004, Istanbul: Çiviyazıları. ISBN 975-8663-66-6
  • Sezgiciliğin Sonu mu?, 2005, Istanbul: Devin. ISBN 975-6472-16-2
  • Siyaset Yazıları, 2005, Istanbul: Alan. ISBN 975-7414-95-6
  • Alternatif Siyaset Arayışları, 2005, Istanbul: İthaki. ISBN 975-273-148-1
  • "Kurtuluş Savaşı'nda Sol", 2007, İstanbul: Altın Kitaplar. ISBN 978-975-21-0836-3
  • "Sokaktan Parlamentoya Özgürlükçü Siyaset İçin Notlar", 2008, İstanbul: Su Yayınları. ISBN 978-975-6709-67-2
  • "Söz Meclisten Dışarı", 2010, Ankara: Penta Yayınları. ISBN 978-975-01020-7-3
  • "Meclis Notları", 2013, İstanbul: Pencere Yayınları. ISBN 978-605-4049-60-8