Martina Anderson in tense stand off on attempted visit to Kurdish hunger striker

Martina Anderson in stand-off with Turkish authorities.
Martina Anderson in stand-off with Turkish authorities.

Derry MEP Martina Anderson was involved in a tense stand-off at the weekend when attempting to visit a Kurdish hunger striker in Turkey.

Ms. Anderson was denied admission to visit Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) MP, Leyla Güven, who is in a critical condition having commenced a hunger strike in protest at her continued incarceration in November.

The Derry MEP attempted to visit Leyla Gven on Monday.

The Derry MEP attempted to visit Leyla Gven on Monday.

She said: "I and other MEPs attempted to visit Kurdish MP Leyla Güven in the prison where she is being unjustly held by Turkish authorities.

"Leyla Guven is currently on hunger strike and has been since November and is now in a critical condition.

"We were denied entry to the prison by the Turkish authorities and there were tense scenes outside the prison as we were refused entry.

"We also witnessed at first hand the tactics of the Turkish police when we visited the headquarters of the HDP party and saw lines of police in riot gear when we emerged following our meeting.

Visit denied.

Visit denied.

"I also met with the daughter of Leyla Güven to offer our solidarity and told her of the demonstrations across Ireland calling for her mother's release and the release of all Kurdish political prisoners."

Ms. Güven was detained last year over critical social media posts and Press statements concerning Turkey's Operation Olive Branch in the Afrin district of North Western Syria.