By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor
On January 13th I posted an article featuring PKK Leader Abdullah Öcalan being held without access to visitation by family and attorneys since 2016. The government’s reversal of policy occurred after a two month long hunger strike staged by imprisoned Kurdish sympathizers including pro-Kurdish Turkish Member of Parliament Leyla Guven, 55. MP Guven’s condition was described as “grave” and in the end considerable concern was that her life was in danger. Now, at least for the time being, Ms. Guven is no longer in custody and hopes are high for her recovery.
MP Guven began her hunger strike November 8th to draw attention and protest to Turkey’s denial of the Kurdish Leader’s civil right to counsel and family visitation since 2016. He is serving a life sentence for his role in the Turkish Kurdistan uprising and insurrection against the Turkish State. The Kurds in Eastern Turkey suffered what many international observers counter as war crimes and persecution against their culture and people. He serves as an inspiration for many throughout Kurdistan within Turkey, Syria, Iran and Iraq.
The court in the Kurdish majority southeastern city of Diyarbakir ordered her immediate release under supervised conditions and a ban on international travel. MP Guven was unable to attend her court hearing due to medical disability.
Prosecutors in Turkey ordered her arrest in January, 2018 after she voiced criticism of the Turkish State for the government’s military action against anti-ISIS militias in Syria. In November of last year she called for other political prisoners to hunger strike in sympathy to Öcalan. Over one hundred fifty others engaged in such strikes across the nation.
Turkey accuses the HDP of ties to the PKK and currently imprisons several of its members of parliament, including former party leader Selahattin Demirtas.
By Darren Smith
The views expressed in this posting are the author’s alone and not those of the blog, the host, or other weekend bloggers. As an open forum, weekend bloggers post independently without pre-approval or review. Content and any displays or art are solely their decision and responsibility.