Leyla Zana quotes

The first political prisoner whose case I worked on for years, & a constant source of inspiration …

“I shall struggle so that the Kurdish & Turkish peoples may live peacefully together in a democratic framework.” — Leyla Zana

“I have appealed for peace & dialogue. My crime has been to use a Kurdish phrase for the friendship of Kurds & Turks & their coexistence during my oath of loyalty in parliament.” — Leyla Zana

“Let us refuse to be silent! Speaking freely is a decisive step forward on the road to freedom.” — Leyla Zana

“I had always said that even if they shut me up in a fortress or chained my body, they could not shackle my spirit. With my last breath I would continue to speak out, write & declare my message of peace, brotherhood, & democracy.” — Leyla Zana

“The action being brought against my Kurdish parliamentary colleagues & myself represents a first in Turkish political history. It is in fact the first time that, under a supposedly civilian government, elected representatives of the people have been arbitrarily jailed & brought to trial for their opinions & threatened with death sentences. This trial has no legal basis. It is entirely political.”

“When governments oppress a minority, the rights of all its citizens — not only those of the minority — are threatened. For the sake of democracy in Turkey, Leyla Zana ought to be freed.” — Elie Wiesel

Leyla Zana &  her colleagues were released in 2004.


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