Pro-Kurdish MP @NatalieMcGarry “safe” following detention by Turkish officials


Foreign Office confirms brief detention of British national over trade union visit

GLASGOW MP NATALIE MCGARRY was detained by police in Turkey as part of a delegation travelling through the country in support of Kurdish democratic rights.

The representative for Glasgow East was part of a GMB Union visit to Diyarbakir, a city contested by Turkish and Kurdish forces, which has witnessed recent bombing attacks and mass protests.

Reports of McGarry’s arrest, who has regularly spoken out in favour of Kurdish rights since her election, were first raised in local media reports.

“Kurds in Iraq and Syria are the only effective force against Daesh yet the world sits back whilst Turkey targets them in Iraq and Syria.” Natalie McGarry

McGarry’s lawyer, Aamer Anwar, later confirmed the arrest by Turkish forced: “I can confirm that Natalie McGarry MP was questioned earlier on today but was released shortly thereafter and is grateful to everybody for their messages of support.

“It appears that a member of the Turkish Security Forces became alarmed as Natalie had her mobile phone out near a security check point. She was taken away for questioning and it was subsequently explained that she was simply recording the sound of bombs falling across the border in Syria. There will be no further statement and Natalie will be returning home soon.”

After concerns were raised, McGarry reassured her supporters on twitter: “Thank you for any concerns, but I am safe and absolutely fine.”

The Kurdish people – over 30 million worldwide – represent the largest stateless group on earth, with the vast majority spread across the official boundaries of Turkey, Ian, Iraq and Syria.

As minority group’s within each nation, the Kurds have faced oppression of language, culture and democratic participation with demands for autonomy subject to violence conflicts.

The Turkish military has fought a brutal bombing campaign against the Kurds, including the Kurdish forces opposing Daesh (Islamic State) in the north of Syria.

In January McGarry asked: “Why is no one speaking up for the Kurds in South Turkey? Events in Diyarbakir are horrific.

“Kurds in Iraq and Syria are the only effective force against Daesh yet the world sits back whilst Turkey targets them in Iraq and Syria.”

In June 2015 bombers targeted a democratic rally in Diyarbakir, killing four people and injuring around 100.

A foreign office spokesperson confirmed to CommonSpace that the reports were being monitored: “A British national was briefly detained and released in Diyarbakir, Turkey. Our embassy staff were in close contact with local authorities.”

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Picture courtesy of Facebook