Kurdish politician Güven taken home in critical condition after 98-days on hunger strike

Updates with latest news on Güven's condition

Kurdish politician Leyla Güven's health is in critical condition after 98 days on hunger strike. Reports on Wednesday night said Güven had been taken to hospital in Diyarbakır in southeast Turkey but had refused treatment.

Later reports citing sources at the hospital said she had been taken to her home in an ambulance after signing a document stating that she had refused any treatment.

Turkish police on Wednesday intervened in a protest in support of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) deputy on a hunger strike, preventing the group from marching in the country’s southeastern province of Hakkari, independent news site T24 reported.

Police stopped a group of protesters, including HDP deputies Muazzez Orhan, Murat Sarısaç, Saliha Aydeniz and Sait Dede, from marching to the headquarters in support of fellow HDP deputy Güven, who is on hunger strike protesting the isolation of jailed outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Öcalan. The PKK is an armed group which has been at war for autonomy in Turkey for over 30 years.  

Hakkari MP of pro-Kurdish HDP and co-president of the Democratic Society Congress (DTK) Güven had been in detention since January 2018 on terror-related charges and was released last month, however her hunger strike continues.

HDP deputy Saliha Aydeniz bit the arm of a police officer attempting to take her banner, T24 reported.

Ankara accuses HDP lawmakers of harbouring sympathies and acting in the interests of the outlawed PKK, whose leader Abdullah Öcalan is serving a life sentence on İmralı island prison in Turkey since 1999.

The 54-year-old Güven began her hunger strike to protest the state’s treatment Öcalan, who has been barred from meeting his lawyers and has had only limited family visits since the collapse of a peace process between the state and the PKK in 2015 that aimed to end three decades of conflict.

Güven’s daughter Sabiha Temizkan took to Twitter on Wednesday to say mother had been hospitalised as her medical condition had deteriorated, but she refused any medical treatment.

“My mother says she wants to go home despite her severe condition. Please do not let her die. Please,” Temizkan said.


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