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From housewife to Kurdish peace negotiator

Once a housewife, Pervin Buldan rose to the forefront of Kurdish politics, driven by her husband’s extrajudicial murder, and is now a member of the team involved in the talks between Ankara and jailed PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan.
Pro-Kurdish politicians Sirri Sureyya Onder (3rd L) and Pervin Buldan (6th R) read the statement of jailed Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan as they are flanked by other Kurdish politicians during a gathering to celebrate Newroz in the southeastern Turkish city of Diyarbakir March 21, 2013. Ocalan ordered his fighters on Thursday to cease fire and withdraw from Turkish soil as a step to ending a conflict that has killed 40,000 people, riven the country and battered its economy. Hundreds of thousands of K

Long-running talks between Ankara and Kurdish representatives culminated Feb. 28 in an appeal by jailed Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan on his Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) to lay down arms. Among the architects of the process, a Kurdish woman stands out: Pervin Buldan. A parliament member for the pro-Kurdish People's Democratic Party (HDP), Buldan started out as a modest housewife two decades ago. The event that pushed her into politics was the gruesome murder of her husband in 1994.

Buldan was born and raised in Hakkari, Turkey’s southeastern corner bordering Iran and Iraq. After finishing high school, she married her cousin Savas Buldan and the couple moved to Istanbul. In 1991, she gave birth to her first child, Necirvan. Her husband was a businessman.

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