Turkish court labels Kurdish music ‘terrorist propaganda'

A Turkish court convicted eight Kurds of “terrorist propaganda” and sentenced them to 20 months in prison for playing a Kurdish song in Kurdish New Year celebrations.

A Turkish court in Van sentenced eight Kurds, who organized Newroz, Kurdish New Year celebrations, to 20 months in prison for “spreading propaganda for a terrorist organisation.”

Erciş District Criminal Court ruled that Cevdet Zilanlı, Şaban Tekin, Haydar Tenik, Kenan Ultar, Özgür Deniz, Erol Cengiz, Nefise Taylan and Elvan Çetin provoked people to chant slogans in favour of Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan by playing Kurdish songs in Newroz celebrations.

The head of the organization committee Erol Cengiz was sentenced for his opening speech while the presenter Nefise Taylan was convicted for clapping to a song while the crowd was chanting “Biji Serok Apo – Long Live Leader Öcalan.”

The crime of local musician Kenan Ultar was the same: provoking the people by singing Kurdish songs.

The court also defined Abdullah Öcalan’s posters as “terrorist propaganda” and used the claim as a ground for the conviction.