adapted from Turkish Minute report November 2, 2022 via thefreeonline
Sentenced to prison for Kurdish songs – Bolu Gündem
A supporter of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) has been sentenced to three years in prison on terrorism charges for live-streaming Kurdish songs on social media in February, the Mezopotamya news agency reported on Wednesday.
According to Mezopotamya, the HDP supporter, identified only by the initials K.İ., was among a group of people who were traveling by bus from Turkey’s southeastern province of Hatay to Ankara to attend an HDP congress in the capital on Feb. 22.
HDP *Peoples Democratic Party ..In December 2020 HDP co-deputy head for local governments, Salim Kaplan said that “since 2016, 20,000 of our members have been taken into custody and more than 10,000 of our members and executives have been sent to jail.” and 48 municipalities have been seized by the government.
During the bus ride, local performer A.E. sang Kurdish folk songs, live-streamed by K.İ. on Facebook and triggering an investigation into the HDP supporter on terrorism-related accusations, Mezopotamya said.
The HDP supporter, who was accused of spreading propaganda for a terrorist organization, defended himself in court on March 15 and denied noticing the content of the folk songs performed by A.E. or live-streaming them to praise a terrorist organization, namely the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
YPG/YPJ are Kurdish defense militias in northern Syria which resist continual attacks and invasions by Turkey. They successfully defeated ISIS, along with the multi ethnic Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF)
The Dörtyol 2nd Criminal Court of First Instance, however, sentenced K.İ. to three years in prison on Sept. 23 on charges of disseminating terrorist propaganda, Mezopotamya said, adding that the HDP supporter was arrested on Oct. 31 after the three-year sentence was upheld by a higher court.
Turkish forces intensify attacks on Kurds in Syria
The 17 million strong Kudish minority in Turkey are often pressured not to speak their native language. Authorities frequently claim that people speaking or singing in Kurdish are actually chanting slogans in support of the PKK, which has been leading an armed resistance, off and on, against Turkey’s security forces since the ’80s, suffering up to 40,000 deaths.
In 1999 the PKK changed abandoned Marxist Leninism for Democratic Confederalism, led by still imprisoned the charismatic Ocalan leader, and held years of peaceful ceasefire, broken by the Erdogan govt when it endangered his rule.
The new moderate muslim, anti hierarchical ideology also frees women and was adopted by the Rojava revolution in North Syria.
The international status of the PKK as ‘Terrorist’ was never cancelled, due to Turkish pressure, and nowadays all Kurdish resistance, even a song, is branded as ‘terrorist PKK support’ with long or indefinite imprisonment.
Turkish authorities have traditionally fanned nationalist support by racist, xenophobic persecution of minorities. They have increasingly restricted the use of Kurdish in recent years. Hate crimes against Kurds for speaking their language have also increased.
Prohibitions against the use of Kurdish in Turkey go back many years. Kurdish language, clothing, folklore and names had been banned since 1937.
The words “Kurds,” “Kurdistan” and “Kurdish” were among those officially prohibited. After a military coup in 1980, speaking Kurdish was officially forbidden even in private life.