Kurdish Women Politics

HDP Nominates First Yezidi Female MP in Turkey

Feleknas Uca

One of Turkey’s Kurdish political parties, the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), has nominated Feleknas Uca, a German-born politician and the world’s first female Yezidi parliamentarian, as one of its leading candidates for the June 7th elections. If elected, Uca would become the first Yezidi MP in Turkey.

On April 7th, the HDP nominated Uca as its fourth candidate from the southeastern province of Diyarbakır, one of the party’s strongholds. If the HDP manages to exceed the 10 percent national election threshold, Uca is expected to win a seat in parliament easily.

As a German Die Linke politician of Kurdish ancestry who was elected to the European Parliament in 1999, Uca was the world’s only Yezidi parliamentarian until the Iraqi legislature was elected in 2005. The possibility of a Yezidi Female MP in Turkey is due, in part, to a growing women’s movement reshaping politics in Turkey.

A Veteran of the Turkish System

The 39-year-old politician has faced probes twice before in Turkey. In 2005, Turkish police launched an investigation into the Democratic People’s Party (DEHAP), where Uca spoke in Kurdish and called on Turkey to decrease the 10 percent election threshold, declare a general amnesty and suspend all military operations.

Uca was also detained at Istanbul’s Atatürk Airport in 2012 for carrying a large number of B-1 vitamins that she reportedly planned to take to Kurdish hunger strikers in Turkish prisons.

[Read more at Hurriyet]

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