Turkey: Singer sentenced to 10 months in prison

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Turkey:
Singer sentenced to 10 months in prison for comments made at concert in 2009

Singer Cevdet Bağca to serve a 10 months prison term for a statement given to the crowd before his concert in the Turkish town Siirt in September 2009.


The Turkish online freedom of expression platform Antenna-tr.org reports that the Diyarbakır High Criminal Court on 29 June 2010 sentenced musician Cevdet Bağca to a prison term of 10 months for saying “Do not forget Kazım Koyuncu, Ahmet Kaya, Ozan Serhat, Delila. Do not forget Uğur Kaymaz” to his crowd before a concert held in the southeastern city of Siirt in 2009.

The sentence was delivered in the eastern city of Diyarbakır. The police present at the concert allegedly noted down his comments as PKK propaganda, as some of the people mentioned in the statements according to the police reports are considered to be “sympathizing with an illegal organization and spreading propaganda about a member of the organization”, reports IFEX in their ‘alert&sdquo;. The police records, photographs and footage from the concert were later presented as evidence in the courthouse.

According to IFEX, it was furthermore claimed in the police report that Cevdet Bağca had praised the local artists Serhat and Delila, allegedly members of the PKK/KONGRA-GEL organization (the militant Kurdistan Workers Party), who had been killed by the Turkish armed forces in operations in rural areas. Not only did the report refer to Serhat and Delila as members of an illegal organization, rather than artists – it also as result accused Cevdet Bağca of “spreading propaganda for an illegal organization”.






Cevdet Bağca


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Sources

Antenna’s Freedom of Expression Weekly Bulletin – 10 July 2010:


‘Cevdet Bağca gets 10 months of prison sentence for his words’

Bianet.org– 6 July 2010:


Bağca: “A Trial Like a Caricature!”

Antenna’s Freedom of Expression Weekly Bulletin – 10 July 2010:

‘Alert: Singer sentenced to 10 months in prison for statements made at concert’

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