Congress of Local and Regional Authorities – Leyla Güven’s speech

Strasbourg, October 15 2014

Speaking at the 27th Session of the Congress, Leyla Güven,a former Congress member who was imprisoned in Turkey in 2009 and released in July 2014, underlined the importance of Turkey’s ratification of the European Charter of Local Self-government for the country’s democratic advancement:”The fact that Turkey has ratified the European Charter of Local Self-government is of crucial importance to Turkish local authorities”.
She also welcomed the solidarity shown by the Congress during her detention. ”I had several visits from delegations sent by you. I wish to express my appreciation and my gratitude”, said the former member of the Turkish delegation. She regretted that local councillors are detained on charges of founding and running a terrorist organisation based solely on audio-visual surveillance and phone tapping records. ”Where terrorism is concerned, one should first think of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, which is a concrete example”, she stressed, going on to describe the situation on the Turkish border, which was deteriorating with the advance of ISIS.