Kurdish Singer Tunç Aquitted

Kurdish singer Ferhat Tunc was acquitted regarding his statement “”After 25 years you are opening a new window to peace and brotherhood from Eruh”. Tunç was facing imprisonment of up to 15 years under charges of propaganda for a terrorist organization.

On 4 November, the Diyarbak?r 4th High Criminal Court decided for the acquittal of Kurdish singer Ferhat Tunç. Charges of “spreading propaganda for an illegal organization” and “committing a crime on behalf of a terrorist organization” had been pressed against the artist on the grounds of his statement made at the 1st Eruh-Çirav Nature and Culture Arts Festival (south-eastern province of Siirt) on 15 August 2009. Tunç attended the final hearing together with his lawyers. The court followed the final plead of the prosecution with its verdict. Court granted prosecutor’s demanded of acquittal In the defence speeches, Tunç and his lawyers said that the statement had to be assessed within the scope of freedom of speech and requested the singer’s acquittal. The prosecutor expressed his opinion that the brief speech delivered by Tunç before his concert at the Eruh festival corresponded to what had to be anticipated from the artists who performed at the festival. In its ruling, the Diyarbak?r court followed the prosecutor’s plead for Tunç’s acquittal. The rescript is going to be issued later. 15-year prison threat “After 25 years you are opening a new window to peace and brotherhood from Eruh. I am just as excited as you are to turn this march, that you started on the expense of your lives and your blood, towards peace”. These are the words that were the base of the charges under article 220/6 of the Turkish Criminal Court and Article 7/2 of the Anti-Terror Law. Tunç was facing 15 years behind bars. In the previous hearing on 30 September, the defence lawyers had presented a the copy of a letter from the Scandinavian group of the PEN Writers Association to the court. The group had addressed Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdo?an in regard to the prosecution of Tunç. More than 1000 signatures for dropping procedures 363 intellectuals came together in the “Initiative for Solidarity with Ferhat Tunç” They managed to gather more than one thousand signatures for their request to drop the case. The writing was also signed by writerYa?ar Kemal, Law Prof. Mithat Sancar, journalistPerihan Ma?den, sociologist ?smail Be?ikci, Prof. Halil Berktay, ?rfan Aç?kgöz, publisherRag?p Zarakolu, Prof. ?ebnem Korur Fincan?, political scientist Haluk Gerger and ?anar Yurdatapan from the Initiative against Thought Crime. (EÖ/VK)


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