Leyla Güven: Being a member of the DTK is not a crime

Diyarbakır Chief Prosecutor’s Office launched a detention operation in Turkey under the scope of an investigation into the Democratic Society Congress (DTK) on 20 November. Seventy two people were detained, including 24 lawyers. Twenty one of them were released later and three others were sent to court.

DTK Co-Chair Leyla Güven criticized these operations and said that it was a struggle and conflict against Kurdish people. She added: “It was the Eastern Reform Plan in the past, now it is the Destruction Plan and we are dissappointed that this has been imposed on us again”. Güven stated that whenever the Justice and Development Party (AKP) talked about a reform, different forces stepped in and that ‘reform’ was undertaken against the Kurdish people.

Reiterating that the DTK was established with 800 representatives in 2007 and later became an umbrella association that includes political parties from Kurdistan and NGOs, alongside democratic mass organizations, Güven pointed out that the DTK’s initiatives were open to the general public.

Co-Chair Güven also noted that when the the DTK was established, the AKP was in power at the time and she added: “When Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had come to Diyarbakır (Amed), DTK Co-Chair Ahmet Türk, in that capacity, had been part of the welcoming committee. Also, the DTK was invited to parliament by the head of the parliament in person. AKP members had also taken part in all missions with Kurds at that time”.

Regarding the AKP’s attitude to the Kurdish question, Güven said that the AKP had shifted its ground and had now reached a point where it expressed the view that there was no Kurdish question to resolve as it had been solved. She added: “Particularly, they rejected the Dolmabahçe Consensus. Then, this morning, detention warrants were issued for about 101 people who had been DTK representatives in the past and in their searches, name tags or writing pads were found in some of these houses. This is the tragicomic context in which raids have been undertaken in provinces and especially in Diyarbakır. Many people from different occupational groups, especially lawyers were detained”. Güven added that being a member of the DTK is not a crime.

Güven also commented on Presidency High Advisory Board member Bülenç Arınç’s statements and said that the state pretended to solve the Kurdish question but had not done so. She said: “Kurdish people say: ‘We have seen that film before. You cannot fool us'”. Güven stated that Turkey began to suggest such views because it is aware that the European Union (EU) is due to consider imposing sanctions on Turkey.

Güven insisted that the struggle will continue: “Yesterday, it was the Eastern Reform Plan, today it is the Destruction Plan. We will not support that concept that has been imposed on the Kurdish people”.

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Leyla Güven: Being a member of the DTK is not a crime

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