12 people have that have been arrested for singing traditional songs in the street, are facing up to 15 years in prison. The prosecution has claimed that the persons singing were part of a terrorist organization. Furthermore, the reporter of the news is also facing 3 years in jail for reporting it.
12 person have that have been arrested for singing turkish traditional songs in the Recep Tayyip Erdogan park, are facing 15 years in prison. The prosecution has claimed that the people that were singing kurdish traditional and southeastern Turkish songs were part of a terrorist organisation. The singers were violently arrested and have been kept under custody for 6 months now. A spokesperson from the prosecutor’s office, declared that the 7th of August 2017, ”the singers were denounced to the police for singing Kurdish songs loudly in the Recep Tayyip Erdogan park and shouting out slogans that allegedly declared that the Turkish Republic will be [Erdogan’s Grave.]” The singers have refused the accusations.
The prosecutor asked more information to the Turkish Inteligency Agency (MIT)
The case was decided to be non-justiciable by the prosecutor’s office and as a result the prosecutor’s office asked the Turkish Intelligency Agency (MIT) for more information on the singers. As an answer the MIT has communicated to the prosecutor’s office that the singers might be related to people involved in the PKK/KCK. The MIT has apparently based its conclusion on the activities of the singers on social media. As a result, the prosecutor has asked for a trial for the individuals solely on the base of the claims made by the MIT.
The investigation did not report the police violence
The violence faced by Hebun Kurt, one of the singers, went unreported in the investigation. Kurt’s nose was broken following his altercation with the police. Despite everything, the court rejected to release the singers and ruled to keep the suspects under custody for longer.
Getting sued for reporting the events
One of the singers, Mazlum Metin, declared in his testimony: “The police sworn and beat us up. Even the police officer that was there to protect me punched my brother in the face.” The police officer has refused the accusation. The singers made a peace sign with their hands as they were leaving the court.
Furthermore, the same police officer who was accused of punching one of the singers, has filed a complaint against the newspaper who has reported the news on the 21st of August. The Journalist who reported the news currently face 3 years in prison.
Cumhuriyet Translated by Denizalp Göktaş