Turkey: Singer Ferhat Tunc acquitted


04 October 2007

Singer Ferhat Tunç acquitted

The Turkish-Kurdish singer Ferhat Tunç could leave Izmir High Criminal Court as a free man on 4 October 2007. The Freemuse delegation succeeded its mission

When the court stated that there was nothing criminal in what Ferhat Tunç had said, his large group of supporters attending the court case found it difficult to keep quiet and hide their joy. The court room with room for 100 persons was fully seated, 15 tv-channels and a large group of journalists observed and reported from the trial.

The media attention was massive when singer Ferhat Tunç left the court room. Member of EU Parliament Mr. Bonde also joined the press meeting. Photo by Ole Reitov

Talking to the Turkish and International media after the court hearing, Ferhat Tunç expressed his relief, not only for his personal case – but for Turkey as such.

“The case gives creates some optimism of a future democracy,” Ferhat Tunç said.

The Danish musician Niels Hausgaard had travelled to Izmir with Freemuse’s delegation to support Ferhat Tunç and stand up for the principles of freedom of expression.
“I can’t say for sure whether our presence made a difference in respect to the acquittal, but it certainly didn’t hurt to come here,” he told his Danish audience in an interview over the telephone with the national Danish radio channel DR P2.
“I believe it is important that we make the world aware of these kind of things when they happen,” he added.

(Left:) 4 October 2007 was a happy day for Ferhat Tunç. Not only were the charges against him dropped, MEP J. P. Bonde also handed over a Danish Music Prize to him.

(Right:) Danish singer and entertainer Niels Hausgaard flew to Izmir to show his solidarity with Ferhat Tunç. Photos by Ole Reitov.

Ferhat Tunç went to trial over his remarks during a concert in Alanya on 22 July 2006, where he mentioned the Kurdish issue and demanded a peaceful solution, saying: ‘Each killed guerrilla is a son of this country too. I feel sorry for each killed soldier and also for each guerilla.’ The prosecutor considered this making propaganda for the Kurdish PKK.

Still a censored artist
“It was a surprise to us that the court case took this direction and the prosecutor decided to withdraw the charges against Ferhat Tunç”, said Freemuse’s officer Ole Reitov.

The court hearing lasted an hour and a half, then the judges withdrew, and after two minutes they came back and said that “no element of crime has been established” by the prosecutor, and thus the whole case was dismissed.

Witnessed by Freemuse and a delegation from the EU Parliament and EU Commission office in Ankara the court case against Ferhat Tunç had created massive media attention in Turkey, and the court room was under severe security control. Freemuse had launched a campaign against the case, and since Danish singer Niels Hausgaard joined the Freemuse delegation the court case also drew media attention in Scandinavia.

Unfortunately the success of this campaign does not lead to an improved artistic situation for Ferhat Tunç. There is no sign that state controlled media in Turkey will play the music of Tunç. He is still a censored artist.

More details about this story

Statements by Ferhat Tunç 

Video of Ferhat Tunç’s speech – from the session about music censorship in Turkey at the 3rd Freemuse World Conference in Istanbul in November 2006.

A personal letter from Ferhat Tunç – about his relationship with Freemuse and his new appointment as ‘Freemuse Ambassador’.

Further reading

About Ferhat Tunç and the cases against him

 All articles about Ferhat Tunç on freemuse.org

 ferhattunc.net – Ferhat Tunç’s official web site
 bonde.com – Jens-Peter Bonde’s official web site
 nielshausgaard.dk – Niels Haugaard’s official web site
 djbfa.dk – DJBFA’s official web site

About freedom of expression in Turkey 

 ihd.org.tr – Human Rights Association of Turkey 
 thereport.amnesty.org – ‘Amnesty International Report 2007 – the state of the world’s human rights’, about Turkey 

Press material

For photos and video in high resolution, go to our Press Room

Quote Freemuse: Read our Freemuse Press Statement 

Media coverage – continously updated


Dagbladet Information – 5 October 2007:
‘Dansk hjælp til tyrkisk folkesanger i unåde’ ‘Danish help to Turkish folk singer in disfavour’ 

Sangens År – 5 October 2007:
‘Ferhat Tunc frikendt’ ‘Ferhat Tunc acquitted’ 

Arbejderen – 5 October 2007:
‘Tyrkisk sanger frifundet’ ‘Turkish singer acquitted’ 

Kristeligt Dagblad – 5 October 2007:
‘Tyrkisk sanger frikendt’ ‘Turkish singer acquitted’ 

Urban – 5 October 2007:
‘Tyrkisk sanger frikendt’ ‘Turkish singer acquitted’ 

Danish Broadcasting Corporation (DR Nyheder and P2 Plus) – 4 October 2007:
‘Tyrkisk sanger frikendt’ ‘Turkish singer acquitted’ 

TV2 Nord – 4 October 2007:
‘Hausgaard støtter tyrkisk kollega’ ‘Hausgaard supports Turkish colleague’ 

Ekstra Bladet – 3 October 2007:
‘Hausgaard vil redde tyrkisk sanger’ ‘Hausgaard wants to save Turkish singer’ 

Danish Broadcasting Corporation, Radio P3, ‘Go’morgen P3’ – 2 October 2007:
App. 10 minutes live radio interview with Niels Hausgaard

Also the leading Danish radio news broadcaster, Radioavisen, broadcasted a report on the case.

Junibevægelsen – 1 October 2007:
‘Bonde til tyrkisk retssag’ ‘Bonde to Turkish court case’ 

U-landsnyt.dk – 30 September 2007:
‘Bonde og Hausgaard til Tyrkiet for at støtte sanger i retssag’ ‘Bonde and Hausgaard to Turkey to support singer in court case’ 

Jyllands-Posten – 28 September 2007:

‘Niels Hausgaard støtter tyrkisk sangerkollega’ ‘Niels Hausgaard supports Turkish singer colleague’ 

Danish Broadcasting Corporation, DR – 28 September 2007:
‘Hausgaard til Tyrkiet for at støtte sanger’ ‘Hausgaard to Turkey to support singer’ 


Haber TE – 28 September 2007:
‘Tunç’un “GERİLLA” sözüne DAVA’

Bianet – 5 September 2007:

‘Singer Tunc Still Accused of Spreading Terorrist Propaganda’


Swedish Broadcasting Corporation, Sveriges Radio, Mitt i Musiken, broadcasted an interview with J.P. Bonde and Ole Reitov on 2 October. It is available on SR’s home page.
Interview med Ferhat Tunc
Podcast radio
SMS Service
Newsservice (Nyhetsportalen.se)


Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation, NRK, broadcasted interviews with J. P. Bonde and Ole Reitov on P2 on 4 October at 3:30 PM, a 12-minutes report by Arne Berg.


Freedimensional – 28 September 2007:
‘Leading member of the European Parliament joins Freemuse at Ferhat Tunç court case in Izmir next week (Turkey)’

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