Democratic Society Congress (DTK) co-chair Leyla Güven was sentenced to 22 years and three months in prison for her statements against the attacks on Afrin and her activities as part of the DTK.
Güven was arrested on 22 December. However, this is not the first time she has been sent to prison. Her 30 years of political activity reveals the cost of demanding freedom for Kurds.
Güven was born in 1968 and lived in Germany for a long period. After divorcing her husband, whom she was forced to marry at a very young age, she returned to Turkey. She was always an active member of the women’s struggle and she worked for the Women’s Organisation of the People’s Democracy Party (HADEP) in 1994. In 2004, she was elected Mayor of Küçükdikili in Adana, and in 2009 she was elected the Mayor of Viranşehir in Urfa (Riha).
In December 2009, she was arrested as part of the operation launched against the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK). After being kept in custody for five years, she was released in 2014.
She was elected as Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) deputy for the Urfa province in the 2015 general elections. She became the co-chair of the DTK in 2016. On 24 January 2018 she was detained again because of her statements against Turkey’s invasion of Afrin.