Turkey: Singer Ferhat Tunc receives death threats


09 January 2006

Singer Ferhat Tunç receives death threats


After it was published in Turkish media that Ferhat Tunç has taken part in a human rights campaign the singer has received death threaths through phone calls, e-mails and on various internet websites


By Sanar Yurdatapan 

Singer Ferhat Tunç has stated that he has received death threaths after a court case was opened against him for taking part in a human rights campaign to rescue private Coskun Kirandi who had been kidnapped by Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) – an armed group considered a terrorist organisation by the EU and the United States as well as by the Turkish authorities. The kidnapping happened on 11 July 2005 in the city of Tunceli.

On 4 August 2005, the human rights commission succeeded in effecting the release of private Coskun Kirandi.

Ferhat Tunç has published a statement on the issue in which he writes:

“…After Tunceli Republic Prosecutor’s indictment defined us as ‘alleged human rights defenders’ and charged us with ‘propagandating for an illegal organisation’, I have begun receiving death threats through phone calls, mails and on various internet websites. I regret to say that something I did for humanitarian purposes to save someone’s life was turned into a lynching campaign against me…”

Ferhat Tunç emphasised that if the threats which has followed official bodies pointing him out as a target should lead to any attacks against him, then the Turkish state will bear the responsibility. Tunç also reminded that there had not been any official attempts to rescue the police officer Hakan Açil who has also been held captive by PKK, despite the calls from his family. Tunç demanded the immediate release of Açil. He added that he would not hesitate to take part if a new human rights commission is to be set up for Açil’s rescue.

Ferhat Tunç is presently under trial in the Turkish court system for a statement he has made in a newspaper about the socalled “deep state”. In a recent tv interview Tunç said even if the Turkish state doesn’t find new ways to get him, the ultra-nationalists can murder him on the street any time they choose. This may be an exaggerated fear but for Ferhat Tunç the fear is real enough.


Initiative for Freedom of Expression, Turkey

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