Ali Atalan

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Ali Atalan
Member of the Grand National Assembly
Assumed office
7 June 2015
Constituency Batman (June 2015)
Member of the Landtag of North Rhine-Westphalia
In office
Personal details
Born (1968-01-05) January 5, 1968 (age 54)
Midyat, Turkey
Nationality German, Turkish
Political party Die Linke (Germany)
People's Democratic Party (HDP)

Ali Atalan (born 5 January 1968 in Midyat) is a Turkish-German politician. Formerly a member of the Landtag of North Rhine-Westphalia with Die Linke, he is currently a member of the Turkish Parliament with the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP).


Ali Atalan grew up in a Yazidi family and came to Germany in 1985. After completing his Abitur in 1997,[1] he studied political science and sociology at the Ruhr University Bochum, where he graduated in 2004 with a Diplom in social science.[1]

In Dülmen, he belonged to the social committee of the city council from 1990 until 1994.[2]

A member of the Greens from 1998 until 2001, he became a member of the Left Party in Germany in 2001. In 2004, he became a member of the city council in Münster. In the 2010 state elections, he was eighth on the state list of Die Linke North Rhine-Westphalia. As a result of the election, the party sent 11 members to parliament, and so from 2010 until 2012, he belonged to the 15th Landtag of North Rhine-Westphalia.[1]

During the 2010 election period, Atalan's opponents made reference to his association with the "Anti-Capitalist Left" current, which has been investigated for suspicion of hostility against the German constitution, but whose political goals he supports. Atalan stated then that being against capitalism is not the same as being against the constitution, and that the German constitution is not inherently capitalist. Also during this time, his connection to the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which was in open military conflict with the Turkish government from 1984 until 2013, was called into question. Atalan clarified that he was not a member of the PKK, but maintained that the ban on the PKK by the German government was counter-productive, and that Germany's position was used by Turkey to justify violence against the Kurds.[3]

On 7 April 2015, Atalan was nominated by the People's Democratic Party (HDP) to their electoral list for the upcoming parliamentary election to the Grand National Assembly. Along with fellow party member Feleknas Uca, he became the first ever Yazidi member of the Assembly.[4]

On 13 November 2015, the town of Nusaybin was placed under a curfew by the Turkish authorities, and Atalan and Gülser Yıldırım, another elected member of the Assembly, began a hunger strike in protest after two local civilians and ten PKK fighters had been killed by security forces.[5]

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