Turkey: Kurdish singer prohibited from travelling


Kurdish singer prohibited from travelling

Kurdish singer Selda Bağcan was stopped by Turkish authorities from travelling to Canada for a concert, reports Kurdish Info

In the 1970’s when she released her first record, Kurdish singer Selda Bağcan was considered Turkey’s answer to Joan Baez. She became famous as an outspoken protest singer from the folk tradition. It became clear that the Turkish authorities still consider her a controversial figure when she was stopped by airport police in Ataturk Airport on 14 May 2006 as she was about to enter a flight to Canada where she give a concert. Her passport was seized.

Selda Bağcan stated that on 11 April she had received information that she was prohibited to travel abroad – but even so she had been able to travel to Holland to perform on 23 April. She called the prohibition “disgraceful and scandalous”, stated that her attorneys will start legal process, emphasising that freedom to travel cannot be hindered because it is a constitutional right.

The web site Kurdish Info writes that Selda Bağcan is not the only artist suffering with this kind of restriction in Turkey. According to Kurdish Info many artists are not allowed to travel abroad.

About Selda Bağcan

Selda Bağcan – “The Anatolian Joan Baez” – is one of the rare female progressive singers of Turkey. She plays acoustic guitar and sings with a powerful voice.
“It’s all distorted saz, fuzzy guitars, swirling electronic effects and driving percussion, while Selda wails over the top”, writes the Observer’s Caspar Llewellyn Smith in his review of a re-release of her first album.


Kurdish Info:
‘Prohibition to travel abroad for Selda Bağcan’

Progressive Turkish Music:

Selda’s discography