Kurdish MP Leyla Güven out of prison but still on hunger strike against Erdogan’s isolation policy

European Free Alliance (EFA) calls for the end of the isolation regime for Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan and the release of all political prisoners in Turkey. Peace talks between Erdogan’s government and Kurdish authorities must resume in order to find a political solution that leads to a genuine coexistence of all communities and peoples in a democratic Turkey

EFA welcomes the release today of Kurdish member of the Turkish parliament Leyla Güven, who has been on pretrial detention for a year and on hunger strike for the last 79 days. Nevertheless, EFA reiterates its call for the end of the isolation policy for Kurdish leaders and political activists in Turkey, as well as the release of all remaining political prisoners.

Güven was arrested on the 31st January 2018 and then imprisoned awaiting trial until today, only because of her critics to the Turkish military operation known as ‘Olive Branch’ in Afrin. Since the 7th November 2018 she has been on hunger strike to protest against the isolation regime of the Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan, and has received the support of several political prisoners.

EFA firmly supports Güven in her fight for freedom and respect of human rights, and will continue to do that after she has announced that she will continue with her hunger strike, demanding the end of the isolation policy as well as calling for a dialogue with the Turkish authorities resuming peace talks.

“Leyla Güven has all our support in her push for dialogue, peace and coexistence in a democratic Turkey. I regret that her trial will still go on despite her release today. The isolation regime imposed by Erdogan’s government does not respect international legislation nor Turkish law”, said EFA’s Secretary-General Lorena Lopez de Lacalle after meeting Güven at her house in Diyarbakir in the Turkish Kurdistan right after her release.

Unfortunately, the lack of a true separation of powers and the violation of fundamental rights not only affects Turkey but is also a reality in some EU member states, thus posing a thread to democracy and the upholding of EU values.