DTK co-Chair Güven Appears Before Judge After 4 Months in Detention

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First hearing of trial of Democratic Society Congress (DTK) co-Chair Leyla Güven, who faces up to 31.5 years in prison, was held at Diyarbakır 9th Heavy Penal Court today (May 16).

Ordering continuation of arrest, the court adjourned the hearing to July 11.

Güven was detained on January 22 due to her social media posts and statements about Afrin operation, and arrested on January 31.

Güven faces up to 31.5 years in prison

Diyarbakır Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office has filed lawsuits over 14 statements for the press, funeral and meeting she attended from 2016-2018.

Güven faces from 17.5 to 31.5 years in prison on charges of “founding and managing an armed organization”, “propagandizing for an illegal organization”, “inciting people to attended unlawful rallies and demonstrations”, “being a member of an illegal organization”.

About Leyla Güven

Leyla Güven (born 1964, Cihanbeyli, Konya, Turkey) was mayor of the municipality of Viranşehir in the Şanlıurfa Province of Southeast Anatolia of Turkey, of the former Democratic Society Party (DTP). She was elected in the March 2009 local elections.

The seventh and youngest child of her family, Güven entered into an arranged marriage, in which she had two children, which she brought up alone. In 1980 she moved to Germany for family reasons, returning to Turkey in 1985.

In 1994 she set up the Konya branch of HADEP She was active for several years as the Provincial Woman Branch Chairwoman of Hadep, until the party was dissolved in 2003. This involved numerous brushes with the law. In 2000 she was arrested during a Hadep demonstration. 

She was elected Mayor of Küçükdikili, Adana in the 2004 local elections, when she stood as a candidate for the SHP (Social Democratic People's Party (Turkey))

In 2006 she was again in trouble with the law as one of the signatories of the ROJ TV petition to the Danish Prime Minister. In October 2007, she was one of five mayors arrested for expressing solidarity with the arrested mayor Osman Keser. 

On 20 May 2008 she was one of the signatories of the “Call for a peaceful settlement of the Kurdish question in Turkey”, published in the International Herald Tribune.

She was appointed a member of the Congress of the Council of Europe in September 2009 and was a key speaker during the Congress Plenary session debate, 14 October 2009, on the situation of local democracy in Southeast Anatolia.

On 24 December 2009 she was detained in a large crack-down of Kurdish politicians. She remained in detention until July 2014. Her trial began in October 2010. Commenting on these arrests, the head of the BBC office in Istanbul suggested that the Turkish prosecutors were "closing down the already limited opportunities for dialogue between the state and its largest minority".

In May 2010 Thomas Hammarberg, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, visited her in prison in Diyarbakir and issued a declaration expressing his concern at the continued detention of so many Kurdish local elected representatives.

In July 2014, after four years of detention, she finally got released with 30 other local elected representatives held in Diyarbakir. (Source: Wikipedia)

(TP/TK)

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