Sabiha Temizkan: My mum, my people’s Leyla

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HDP Hakkari deputy and DTK co-chair, Leyla Güven, is on hunger strike since 8 November in Amed prison. She went on hunger strike to demand an end to the isolation regime imposed on Kurdish People’s Leader Abdullah Öcalan.

Writing in Yeni Özgür Politika, Sabiha Temizkan, daughter of HDP Hakkari deputy and DTK co-chair, Leyla Güven, said that her mother “once again has managed to amaze everyone with her resistance.”

“When we say peace, – Sabiha Temizkan wrote – our heart is twisted, and in a process where we have difficulty in preserving our hope, she has put her life at stake for peace.

She’s my hero, she’s this people’s hero.”

Temizkan described her mother. “Leyla Güven she is a mother of two. She was married to a relative at the age of 16. In her early thirties, when she divorced, she refused to accept the role of the classical woman and went to work, raising her children on her own.”

When the children were able to stand on their own feet, said Temizkan, “a new life was beginning for Leyla. She has already begun to actively participate in policy. At the time of HADEP, she first took part in the women’s movement and then in the party assembly. Then she was elected mayor, twice. When she was a mayor, her identity as a woman was always at the forefront. She added substances to the collective bargaining agreement. She signed many initiatives for women.

She was elected to parliament on 7 June and went then to Cizre to stop the conflict which had started again. In Cizre, where a curfew was imposed, she was running from one district to another under the bombs with her friends to prevent civilians from being hit. As you will understand, this is not the first time that Leyla Güven puts her life at risk for peace.”

We can only imagine the pain Sabiha Temizkan is suffering while telling about her mother.  “She is currently the DTK co-chair and the HDP MP for Hakkari. She’s kept in jail illegally. She responds strongly to those who think that they can break her struggle through prison. ‘There is one thing they forgot: we will resist everywhere against fascism’. She resists in Diyarbakir prison, one of the torture centres of the 12 September 1980 military coup. For peace!”

Sabiha Temizkan continued: “My mother entered this struggle after seeing people who had to leave their home because of the conflict and were forced to live in very bad conditions in Konya. They had been forced into a life in which they could not speak in their own language and had to work in the worst jobs, leaving their connections, their gardens and their houses burned by the army. My mother could not remain indifferent and she did not. As a Kurdish woman living in Konya she joined the struggle for her own people.”

Sabiha Temizkan said: “This is actually as I have known my mother. To be the daughter of such a strong woman, makes me is proud by it is also difficult. Whatever you do, you always feel like is not enough, you always have to be perfect. Leyla, my Leyla… my mother, my comrade…tomorrow will be your people’s tomorrow not just yours’.”

HDP Hakkari deputy and DTK co-chair, Leyla Güven, is on hunger strike since 8 November in Amed prison.

She went on hunger strike to demand an end to the isolation regime imposed on Kurdish People’s Leader Abdullah Öcalan.

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