HDP Group Deputy Chair Meral Danış Beştaş wore the dress in Turkish Parliament yesterday (6 April 2022), which was not let in Elazığ Prison to be worn by jailed Kurdish politician Leyla Güven.
“The prison administration said, ‘We cannot let the dress in with these colors’. Can color be forbidden in a country or not?” asked Beştaş at the Parliamentary General Assembly.
Democratic Society Congress (DTK) Co-Chair and former Peoples’ Democratic Party’s (HDP’s) Hakkari (Colemerg) MP Leyla Güven has been behind bars since 2020 and charged for the membership of an organisation and sentenced to 22 years in prison.
Her daughter wanted to give a present to her mother and had a dress sewn for her. However, the Elazığ Prison administration did not let the dress be given to Güven due to its colours, which include yellow, green and red.
To protest the decision, HDP Deputy Meral Danış Beştaş wore the same dress in the Turkish Parliament yesterday.
“Elazig Prison didn’t let this dress in, this is a dress that her daughter had sewn and wanted to give to our beloved former deputy, Leyla Güven, who was stripped of MP status. They said, ‘We can’t let this dress with these colors.’” she said.
“Can colours be banned in a country?” asked Beştaş repeatedly.
“Are green red and yellow banned, can colors be banned, can colours be banned in a country? I urge you to act following the law as this dress symbolises the bad treatment and unlawfulness in prisons.”
These three colours, red, yellow and green, are known as “kesk u sor u zer” in Kurdish and are associated deeply with Kurdish culture. Many Kurds living in different countries wear these “Kurdish colours” as part of their traditional clothing.