Imprisoned MP and co-chair of the Democratic Society Congress (DTK) Leyla Güven, has been denied delivery of a dress because of its colours, just a short time after she was subjected to another punitive disciplinary action for singing in Kurdish.
Güven’s daughter, Sabiha Temizkan, posted the image of the dress on Twitter with a message saying, “This dress of my mother Leyla Güven hasn’t been permitted into the prison. Hold still, you’ll now learn why: ITS COLOURS. Yes, a separatist dress has been neutralised before it could gain access to the prison grounds!”
In Turkey, the colours red, yellow and green, which are the colours of both the Kurdistan Regional Government’s flag and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), constitute a cause of alarm and panic for state officials even when they are the colours of a evidently innocuous garment, such as a dress.
Usage of the colours of the LGBTi movement or the colours of the rainbow in textile products were also banned by the Turkish Ministry of Trade in December 2020 in case the product label didn’t have a required 18+ sign.
Güven and nine other inmates in the Elazığ Prison were notified in late August by the prison administration that they were going to be subjected to a disciplinary inquiry for dancing and singing in an “unidentified language” (Kurdish) in a prison ward. They were later deprived of family visits and phone calls as a disciplinary measure for singing in Kurdish.
Leyla Güven, an imprisoned ex MP of the People’s Democratic Party (HDP) and former mayor of the Viranşehir (Wêranşar) district of Turkey’s southeastern province of Urfa (Riha), had been detained on 22 January 2018, and arrested nine days later for her criticism of Turkey’s cross-border military operation dubbed “Olive Branch” in Afrin, northern Syria.