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Behice Boran



Behice Boran (1 May 1910 – 10 October 1987) was a Turkish Marxist politician, author and sociologist. As a dissenting political voice from the left, Boran was repeatedly imprisoned for her work and died in exile after the Turkish military coup of 1980.

Biography

Boran was born in Bursa to Volga Tatar parents whose families had settled in the Ottoman Empire during the 1890s. She graduated from American College for Girls in Istanbul, Turkey, and studied sociology at the University of Michigan in the United States. She received her PhD on sociology in 1939 from Michigan, and was involved in Marxism. She was nominated to Ankara University, Faculty of Language and History-Geography (AÜ, DTCF) as an associate professor.

She also joined the clandestine Communist Party of Turkey (TKP) and began publishing left-wing periodicals, Yurt ve Dünya (English: Motherland and World) and Adımlar (English: Steps), which led to her sacking from the university. In 1950, she led the formation of the Turkish Peacelovers Association, which protested against Turkey's participation in the Korean War, which led to her arrest and a sentence of 15 months in prison. In 1965, Boran was elected deputy from the Workers Party of Turkey (TİP) in the Turkish parliament. In 1970, she assumed the leadership of the party. She was arrested after the military coup of 1971 and sentenced to 15 years of imprisonment. After she was released following an amnesty in 1974, she re-established the TİP in 1975.

After the military coup of 1980, Boran went into exile in Europe, living as a political refugee in Sofia, Brussels and Düsseldorf. In 1987, she announced that TİP and TKP had decided to merge. She died soon after this press conference from heart disease in Brussels, Belgium. She was 77 years old. Her body was brought to Istanbul and her funeral turned into a mass demonstration, the first public show of force of Turkey's left-wing movement after the coup.