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Palestinian icon Leila Khaled meets Kurdish hunger striker Leila Guven

PALESTINIAN revolutionary icon Leila Khaled visited hunger striking Kurdish opposition MP Leyla Guven today at her home in the south-eastern Turkish city of Diyarbakir.

Ms Khaled — who shot to prominence as the first woman to hijack a plane in 1969 — told the People’s Democratic Party (HDP) MP for Hakkari: “We need to walk on the path to freedom and victory for our people,” adding “we will surely win.”

She was accompanied by HDP deputy for Diyarbakir Saliha Aydeniz along with Tevgera Jinen Azad members Aysen Gokkan and Gulichan Simek as they were welcomed by Ms Guven’s daughter Sabiha Temizkan who explained her mother is weakened after 159 days on hunger strike.

Ms Guven started her resistance on November 8 in protest against the continued isolation of Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Ocalan, who has been held in solitary confinement in a prison on Imrali island near Istanbul since 1999.

As many as 7,000 are believed to have joined the hunger strikes in Turkish prisons and five people have committed suicide in protest against Mr Ocalan’s treatment.

Speaking at their meeting Ms Guven said she took strength from the visit of Ms Khaled, telling her that women’s resistance would bring an end to the war on Kurds in Turkey. 

She expressed solidarity with Palestinian political prisoners, who have recently launched a hunger strike in Israeli prisons over their brutal treatment by the authorities

“Palestinian and Kurdish people are on hunger strikes for their rights but the world doesn’t hear our voices. Mr Ocalan has been isolated for 20 years. Where are the human rights defenders and why don’t they speak out?” Ms Guven said.

Ms Khaled brought solidarity greetings from People’s Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) secretary general Ahmad Sa’adat who has been in jail for the past 13 years.

“It is my duty to meet you because we are all women in resistance, women in struggle,” she told Ms Guven. “We have to walk the way we have chosen. We need to walk in the path to the freedom and glory of our people.”

Earlier this year, Ms Khaled penned a letter to Ms Guven promising to use her voice “against all attacks against the revolutionaries” as those “in Turkish and Israeli prisons are going on hunger strike for freedom, justice and to stop the ruling system wanting to break the voice of the people who want democracy. “


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