A court in the eastern province of Malatya sentenced Kurdish singer and composer Ferhat Tunç to two years in prison on terrorism related charges due to his invocation during a speech in 2011 where he mentioned names of three deceased Turkish leftists, reported BIA News Center on 27 June 2012.
During the May 1st celebrations on 1 May 2011 in the eastern province of Dersim, Ferhat Tunç said: “I greet you all in the revolutionary spirit of Deniz Gezmiş, Mahir Çayan and İbrahim Kaypakkaya.”
Lawyer Ercan Kanar, who represented Ferhat Tunç in court, said the court had convicted his client on the claim that he was making propaganda for the Maoist Communist Party (MKP) because of his reference to İbrahim Kaypakkaya during the speech.
Ercan Kanar called the verdict a “worrying development for democracy and freedoms.”
“This verdict goes to show that Turkey is almost revisiting the state of emergency in the 1990s and the period of martial law in the 1980s,” Ercan Kanar was quoted as saying in Ekin Karaca’s report from Malatya.
He also told that they would appeal the decision at Turkey’s Supreme Court of Appeals. And if the Supreme Court of Appeals ratifies the verdict, the defendant party will bring the case before the European Court of Human Rights. Ercan Kanar said they were certain the court would convict Turkey as has happened in previous cases.
Ferhat Tunç said his statements ought to have been regarded within the scope of the freedom of speech.