Turkey's southeast governorate bans protests for Kurdish deputy on hunger strike

Turkey's southeast Diyarbakır Governorate declared a 15-days-ban on all the protests for supporting the imprisoned Kurdish politician Leyla Güven's hunger strike, pro-Kurdish news agency Mezopotamya said on Friday. 

The imprisoned deputy for the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), Güven, is under investigation by the directorate of a prison in Turkey’s southeast, where she has been on a hunger strike since Nov. 7.

A group of Kurdish politicians and HDP deputies gathered in front of Diyarbakır HDP branch to support Güven's hunger strike, but the police did not let them for a press conference.  The police prevented the crowd from going to Diyarbakır Prison where Güven was held.

Democratic Society Congress (DTK), an umbrella organisation for Kurdish political movement which Güven also co-chairs, later criticised the governorate's ban and said it was anti-democratic to prohibit peaceful protests. Turkey’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) government calls the DTK a terrorist organisation.

"The prohibition decision of the Diyarbakır Governorate is anti-democratic and we protest the decision," Mezopotamya quoted the DTK statement. 

The protests were stopped after the DTK statement was released but police surrounding the Diyarbakır HDP branch's building continues.

Güven, who has been held in Diyarbakır prison since January on terror-related charges, announced that she began an indefinite hunger strike ‘’to protest the isolation practices against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Öcalan and political prisoners.’’ 

Öcalan, the leader of the PKK, an armed group that has fought for Kurdish self-rule in Turkey for decades, has been jailed in Turkey's Imrali island prison since 1999.