By Hambersom Aghbashian

Sırrı Süreyya Önder (born 7 July 1962- in the Southeastern Anatolian city of Adıyaman), is a Turkish film director, actor, screenwriter, columnist and politician. In 1980, he enrolled in Ankara university to study political science. There, he joined a political student movement to protest the military junta, which had overturned the government on September 12, 1980. He was arrested and sentenced to twelve years in prison. In 2010, Önder began a columnist career at the newspaper BirGün, he then continued to write at the daily Radikal. Currently, he writes for Özgür Gündem. Önder was elected into the parliament in 2011 as an independent but backed by the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), he later joined the BDP. He was involved in the 2013 Taksim Gezi Park protests and was reportedly hospitalized. He competed in 2014 Istanbul mayoral race, as the candidate of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), the sister party of the BDP. Currently he acts as a MP of HDP from Istanbul. 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 . He has many other films.(1)

Taraf Newspaper of 20th April 2010 wrote “…. the anniversary of the 1915s events, this year will be remembered in Turkey, too. The commemoration organized by the “Say Stop!” Group, will start and held at Taksim tram stop. A group of intellectuals, which will be joined also by intellectuals as Ali Bayramoğlu, Ferhat Kentel, Neşe Düzel, Perihan Mağden and Sırrı Süreyya Önder, for the first time in Turkey will commemorate this year on 24 April as the anniversary of the events of 1915.” “This pain is OUR pain. This mourning is for ALL of US.” was part of the groups campaign.(2)

According to, ”At the 97th anniversary of 1915 Armenian Genocide -April 2012- a commemoration event organized at Taksim Square. 500 people came together in front of the tram stop at Taksim Square; Rakel Dink, Orhan Dink, Arat Dink, artist Metin Kahraman, Prof. Dr. Gencay Gürsoy, BDP parliamentarians Sabahat Tuncel and Sırrı Süreyya Önder, journalist author Oral Çalışlar, Prof. Dr. Baskın Oran, artist Ferhat Tunç and the family of Sevag Balıkçı were among them. Participation in this year’s commemoration event was much more crowded than the previous two years.(3)

Under the title “Armenian Genocide-recognizing MP becomes Istanbul mayoral candidate”, wrote on April 12, 2013, “Ertugrul Kurkcu, Vice-Chairman of the newly founded Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) of Turkey, announced that MP Sırrı Süreyya Önder is their nominee for the office of the Mayor of Istanbul. To note, Sırrı Süreyya Önder had announced in the Turkish parliament, on April 24, 2012, that a great massacre of the Armenians had taken place in 1915 and that this massacre is called “genocide” in all languages.(4)

According to The Armenian Weekly, April 25, 2012, “In a more meaningful gesture, and according to reports, Parliamentarian Sırrı Süreyya Önder is working on bringing a motion declaring April 24 a ‘Day of Mourning and Sharing the Pain of the Armenian victims of 1915’.”(5)

During the Turkish parliament’s hearings on the proposal for fight against the financing of terrorism, the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) MP Sırrı Süreyya Önder reflected on the court ruling on the case of Hrant Dink, the founder and former chief editor of Istanbul’s Agos Armenian weekly, who was killed in 2007. “The person [Erhan Tuncel] who was punished in the trial was punished for placing a bomb in a hamburger-selling company [McDonald’s]. In Turkey, the life of an Armenian citizen is not as important as an American company that sells hamburgers. You cannot touch a hamburger seller, but you can kill an Armenian,” Sırrı Süreyya Önder  said, Turkish Haberx news agency informs.(6)



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