New Year's greeting from Leyla Güven

Imprisoned Kurdish politician Leyla Güven spoke to her daughter Sabiha Temizkan on the phone from prison. She thanks everyone for their solidarity with her and wishes everyone that the new year will bring better developments.

Kurdish politician Leyla Güven, who was sentenced to over 22 years in prison in Amed, spoke to her daughter Sabiha Temizkan on the phone in Elazığ Women's Prison where she is held currently.

In the twenty-minute conversation, the imprisoned co-chair of the Democratic Society Congress (DTK) and former HDP deputy said that she remains in quarantine in prison and that no letters have yet been delivered to her. According to her, she is doing well health-wise. Leyla Güven thanked all those who have shown solidarity and expressed the wish that the new year will bring better developments for all.

Not the first time in prison

Leyla Güven is not in prison for the first time. In 2009, she was arrested as part of the internationally criticized "KCK operations" and was only released after five years. At the time of her arrest, Güven was mayor of the Viranşehir district of Urfa.

In January 2018, she was again taken into custody, this time for her criticism of Turkey’s war of aggression against Afrin. At the time, she also gained international notoriety when she initiated a 200-day hunger strike movement in November of the same year for the lifting of solitary confinement conditions for PKK founder Abdullah Öcalan, who has been imprisoned on the Imrali prison island since 1999. Last June, Güven was arrested again, just hours after the parliament in Ankara stripped her of her mandate and thus her immunity. The reason given was the now legally binding verdict in the KCK trial.