Prominent Kurdish politican Leyla Güven sent a message from the prison where she has been imprisoned since December 2020. “We are hopeful, we are determined, we are right and we will definitely win,” Güven said.
Thousands of politicians, academics and journalists have been jailed across Turkey in recent years. Dozens of Peoples Democratic Party (HDP) politicians and party members have also been imprisoned over the last five years and the party has been effectively banned from mainstream media outlets.
Regarding the imprisonment of elected HDP politicians, the European Court of Justice (ECtHR) previously ruled that the right to a free trial had been violated, however, the Turkish authorities rejected immediately the allegations and rules of the ECtHR decision.
After a Diyarbakır (Amed) court sentenced the DTK Co-Chair Leyla Güven to 22 years and 3 months in prison, Güven was detained at her home in Diyarbakır and sent to prison on December 22, 2020.
Leyla Güven wrote a letter from the Elazığ Women’s Closed Prison and shared her message of resistance through Jin News.
Medya News shares this English translation of the selected parts of Leyla Güven’s letter:
“Freedom is only achieved by risking your life. A subject who has not revealed his/her life can undoubtedly be recognized as an individual, but could not reach the truth of the recognition as an independent self-consciousness,” Güven quoted from the German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel.
“I am paying the price of being a representative of a people whose language, culture, identity, existence, politics and freedom to organise are totally forbidden, this is nothing new. Kurds have always been put on trials and have been judged under special laws in Turkey’s State Security Courts and Heavy Penal Courts,” she wrote.
”Kurds would not have a fair trial”
“We have witnessed for decades the trials that have reminded us of the 49ers (The fifty Kurds that were imprisoned by Adnan Menderes’s government in 1959 included many figures that later became influential political leaders. Their imprisonment and trial is known as ‘49’lar’ (‘the 49ers’) because one of the detainees died before the trial) and the KCK (Kurdistan Communities Union) trial. We have seen children put on trial for “throwing stones” and the trials of the Peace Mothers. Kurds would not get a fair trial. Therefore, in this atmosphere, our arrest and unlawful punishments are the results of the politicised judiciary,” Güven stated in her letter.
“Those who judge us today will soon be judged”
Leyla Güven’s letter continues as follows:
“The judges and prosecutors who opened the case files against the KCK in 2009 have been put on trial themselves with the unlawful trial methods they have initiated. Following the same tradition, those who unlawfully judge and imprison us will soon be judged themselves about this unlawful system they create.
There is this reality of a prison system in which ill prisoners die almost every day, there are dozens of prisoners, who are not released even though their sentences are already over, disciplinary punishments are given for arbitrary reasons, and prisoners are punished twice. It is possible to solve the Kurdish question through democratic means and methods. What causes the Kurdish question remains unsolved, and causes all that suffering.
Hope is more valuable than victory
It is our promise to our valuable people and to our painful mothers; We will not give up whether we are inside or outside the walls. Hope is more valuable than a victory. We are hopeful, determined, right and we will definitely win. The moral values and source of life that feeds you, feed us in here as well. Those values will always shed light on our path. May your hearts be relieved, we have bright, beautiful days ahead of us. Together, we will continue to build the free life under the leadership of women. We send our greetings and respect to everyone, together with my woman comrades from the land of Sara and Mazlum.”