Sırrı Süreyya Önder

Sırrı Süreyya Önder (born 7 July 1962) is a Turkish film director, actor, screenwriter, columnist and politician with Turkmen ancestry. Elected to parliament in 2011 as an independent backed by the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), he later joined the party. 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%). In the general election of 7 June 2015 he was elected as MP for the 1st electoral district of Ankara Province.

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Early years

Önder was born on 7 July 1962 in Semsûr, Kurdistan (Turkish: 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.

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.

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 12 September 1980. He was arrested and sentenced to twelve years in prison on charges of membership in an illegal organization. He was incarcerated in overcrowded wards in prisons like Mamak, Ulucanlar and Haymana.

Career

Önder's 2006 film The International was awarded the Best Picture Prize at the 2007 ...read more

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