Sırrı Süreyya Önder

Sırrı Süreyya Önder
Member of the Grand National Assembly
Assumed office
12 June 2011
Constituency İstanbul (II) (2011)
Ankara (I) (June 2015, Nov 2015)
Personal details
Born (1962-07-07) 7 July 1962
Adıyaman, Turkey
Political party People's Democratic Party (2014-present)
Peace and Democracy Party (2011-14)
Occupation Actor, film director, screenwriter, politician

Sırrı Süreyya Önder (born 7 July 1962) is a Turkish film director, actor, screenwriter, columnist and politician with Turkmen[1] ancestry. Elected to parliament in 2011 as an independent backed by the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), he later joined the party.[1][2][3] He competed in the 2014 municipal elections as the Istanbul mayoral candidate of the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), the sister party of the BDP, coming third with 412,875 votes (4.83%).[4] In the general election of June 7, 2015 he was elected as MP for the 1st electoral district of Ankara Province.[5]

Early years

Önder was born on 7 July 1962 in the southeastern Anatolian city of Adıyaman to a barber father, who was founder and leader of the provincial office of Behice Boran's Workers Party of Turkey (TİP) in the 1960s. His father died from cirrhosis when Önder was eight years old. His mother moved with him and his four younger siblings to the maternal grandfather's house. To support his family, whilst still at school, he began working as an apprentice in a photograph shop, and this continued until he was in the tenth grade of high school.[2]

At the age of sixteen Önder began to earn more money working for the National Malaria Eradication Program. He got involved in the trade union movement and this led to him being fired. Following a brief time in his own tire repair shop he made a living in the countryside by taking people's photographs for their identity documents.[2]

In 1980 Önder enrolled in the university in Ankara to study political science. During the second term he joined a political student movement to protest the military junta that had overturned the government on September 12, 1980. He was arrested and sentenced to twelve years in prison on charges of membership in an illegal organization. He was incarcenated in overcrowded wards in prisons like Mamak, Ulucanlar and Haymana.[2]


Önder's 2006 film The International was awarded the Best Picture Prize at the 2007 International Adana Golden Boll Film Festival, and was entered into the 29th Moscow International Film Festival.[6]

In 2010 Önder began a columnist career at the newspaper BirGün.[7] He then continued to write at the daily Radikal. Backed by the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) in the 2011 parliamentary elections, he ran as an independent. Elected as a deputy from Istanbul, he then joined the BDP.[8] After entering parliament, he quit his post at Radikal.[2] Currently he writes for Özgür Gündem.[9]

Önder was involved in the 2013 Taksim Gezi Park protests and was reportedly hospitalised after being hit by a tear gas cartridge.[10]




  1. 1 2 "Sırrı Süreyya Önder: Ben kürt kökenli değilim". Videonuz (in Turkish). Retrieved 2013-05-31.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 "'Bana bir avans verin size nasıl vekillik yapılır göstereyim'". Radikal (in Turkish). 2011-04-16. Retrieved 2013-05-31.
  3. "BDP'den kritik açıklama!". Habertürk (in Turkish). 2011-04-16. Retrieved 2013-05-31.
  4. "Supreme Electoral Council of Turkey". Retrieved 4 November 2016.
  5. "Ankara 1. Bölge 2015 Genel Seçim Sonuçları". Haberler. Retrieved 8 June 2015.
  6. "29th Moscow International Film Festival (2007)". MIFF. Retrieved 2013-05-30.
  7. "Sırrı Süreyya Önder/Tüm Köşe Yazışarı". BirGün (in Turkish). Retrieved 2013-05-31.
  8. "Sırrı Süreyya Önder yaralandı". Star Gazete (in Turkish). 2013-05-31. Retrieved 2013-05-31.
  9. "Sırrı Süreyya Önder". Özgür Gündem (in Turkish). Retrieved 2013-95-31. Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  10. Letsch, Constanze (2013-06-01). "Turkey protests spread after violence in Istanbul over park demolition". Guardian. Retrieved 2013-06-01.
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