Turkey: Kurdish singer’s concert cut short by protesters


25 July 2011

Kurdish singer’s concert cut short by protesters

On 15 July 2011 at the 18th İstanbul Jazz Festival, the concert of the Kurdish singer Aynur Doğan was interrupted by a group of nationalists, reported Antenna.tr in its weekly bulletin, along with Bianet News.

Aynur Doğan came on stage at Harbiye Cemil Topuzlu open air amphi-theatre where she was to appear together with Buika, La Shica, and Sandra Carrasco for a special concert titled ‘Suyun Kadınları-Mujeres de Agua’ (‘Women of the Water’, referring to the Mediterranean Sea).

After her second song in Kurdish language, some people in the audience shouted “The Fatherland cannot be divided”, “The martyrs’ blood has not yet dried” (referring to the recent death of 13 Turkish soldiers) and “Sing Turkish!” while whistling and reciting the national anthem. They reportedly threw water bottles and metal objects on the stage, and when Aynur then even ‘dared’ to sing a third song in Kurdish, the protest volume increased and forced her to leave the stage.

Fans of Aynur Doğan compared the incident with Ahmet Kaya’ case from February 1999 where the singer Ahmet Kaya was exposed to a lynching mood when at an awards ceremony he announced that he would sing a song in Kurdish.

At the concert the other singers also sang in their native language: Carrasco in Spanish, Glykeria in Greek, Buika in Spanish, Rita in Hebrew.

Lynch wave
The incident at the İstanbul Jazz Festival was followed by a ‘lynch wave’ which showed its head in Zeytinburnu, reported Antenna.tr.

The tension started on 18 July 2011 and persisted through the week by a group with clubs attacking pro-PKK demonstrators. Also the BDP bureaus, some offices, cars, and the cafes frequented by the Kurds were attacked. The ‘lynch’ was organised with Facebook groups. 72 perpertators were taken into custody.

Click to read more about Turkey


Antenna-tr.org – 22 July 2011:

Weekly Freedom of Expression Bulletin (No 29 – 2011)

Bianet – 16 July 2011:

‘A Harbiye Concert and The Kurdish Issue’

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