Veteran HDP deputy Bozlak passes away

Veteran HDP deputy Bozlak passes away

Veteran HDP deputy Bozlak passes away

Bozlak, a veteran figure of the Kurdish political movement, had been suffering from cancer before his passing. DHA Photo

Murat Bozlak, a deputy of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) and a former leader of the now-defunct People’s Democracy Party (HADEP), passed away on the night of Jan. 4. He was 62.

Bozlak, a veteran figure of the Kurdish political movement, had been suffering from cancer before his passing. In line with his will, a ceremony traditionally held for deceased deputies in front of Parliament will not be held for him. Instead, a ceremony will be held on Jan. 6 in front of the headquarters of the Democratic Regions Party (DBP), the HDP’s sister party, in Ankara before he is laid to rest in his hometown village in Şereflikoçhisar, Ankara.

Bozlak, a graduate of Ankara University Law Faculty, was a founding member of the Social Democracy Party (SODEP), the Social Democratic People’s Party (SHP), the People’s Labor Party (HEP), the Democracy Party (DEP) and HADEP – all of which are now defunct.

In February 1994, when he was secretary-general of DEP, Bozlak narrowly survived after gunmen broke into his home and shot him five times. Following the detention of DEP deputies and a move to close the party, he began work on founding HADEP in April 1994. He remained leader of the party until 1999. HADEP was closed down by a court ruling in 2003 and in the meantime, Bozlak was jailed several times, spending around three years incarcerated. With HADEP’s closure, Bozlak was also banned from politics for five years.

In the June 2011 elections, Bozlak was elected as an independent candidate for the Labor, Democracy and Freedom Bloc supported by the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), the HDP’s predecessor, and served as an Adana deputy until his death.

“Besides his contentious personality, Murat Bozlak was also a significant reminder of the Kurdish people’s struggle for peace and democracy. He never gave up his line that favored democratic conciliation and dialogue, as well as his faith in democratic politics, even during the most difficult and critical periods. As well as the Kurdish people’s national and political unity, improving an alliance of struggle with Turkey’s democratic powers was always the goal he prioritized most,” Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ, the co-chairs of the HDP, said in a written condolence message released Jan. 5.

Bozlak was married with three children.