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Freemuse calls on Turkish authorities to end the persecution of musician Ferhat Tunç

9 August 2021
Image: Musician Ferhat Tunç / Ferhat Tunç on Facebook

 

On 24 July 2021, Kurdish-Turkish musician Ferhat Tunç revealed that he was informed by the German authorities that his life might be in danger after his name appear on the alleged “execution list” of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s opponents who fled Turkey and reside abroad, mainly in Europe, reported ANF News. 

“Freemuse is extremely concerned by the ongoing persecution of Ferhat Tunç and the allegations of his naming on a so-called ‘execution list’ ,” said Emily D’Alterio, Acting Freemuse Spokesperson.  “We urge the Turkish authorities to end Ferhat’s ongoing legal prosecution and to protect his right to express himself artistically without fear of repercussion to his personal safety.”  

According to Morning Star, the alleged “execution list” contains 55 names, including opposition journalists. The German government commented on the alleged existence of the list when Interior Minister Helmut Teichman said that “there are currently references to various lists of the people who are allegedly criticising the Turkish government,” as Bianet reports. 

Writer and PEN International’s member Gökhan Yavuzel, whose name also appeared on the alleged “execution list”, was attacked by four individuals in Wales on 28 July 2021.  

On 13 July 2021, Tunç was tried before Diyarbakır 5th High Criminal Court on “terrorist propaganda” for eight Twitter posts. In the Tweets, the artist was criticising the “Olive Branch military operation” from 2018.  

The Court adjourned the trial to 23 December 2021 to wait for the execution of the arrest warrant.  The artist lives in Germany since March 2019. 

As Freemuse’s State of Artistic Freedom 2021 reports, Tunç has been under constant scrutiny by the authorities since 2012, when he was first convicted under anti-terror legislation. Since then, he has been subjected to many other prosecutions on accusations of terrorist propaganda and insulting the president. 

Read more here about Ferhat Tunç many legal prosecutions over his social media posts.  

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