Press release: EU-MP joins Freemuse at Tunc court case in Izmir

27 September 2007

Leading member of the European Parliament joins Freemuse at Ferhat Tunç court case in Izmir next week

[This Freemuse press release was sent via e-mail to 312 journalists and media houses world-wide on Thursday 27 September 2007 at 16:11 GMT]

When Turkish singer Ferhat Tunç enters the Izmir 10th High Criminal Court on Thursday 4 October, the court case will be closely followed by one of the leading politicians in the European parliament, Mr. Jens Peter Bonde.

Mr. Bonde will be part of a joint Freemuse delegation including one of Denmark’s most famous singers, Niels Hausgaard.

Ferhat Tunç is accused of “making propaganda for a terrorist organisation.”

The new case against Ferhat Tunç is raised over his remarks during a concert in Alanya on 22 July 2006, where Tunç mentioned the Kurdish issue and demanded a peaceful solution.

Tunç is charged under ATL article 7/2. The indictment quotes Tunç ‘Each killed guerrilla is a son of this country too. I feel sorry for each killed soldier and also for each guerrilla…¨.

In a Freemuse statement, Executive Director Marie Korpe expresses concern over the forthcoming trial in Izmir and the continuous harassment of Ferhat Tunç by Turkish Authorities.

In the statement Freemuse “requests a review of Turkish legislation, with the aim of removing any remaining laws that can lead to the imprisonment of artists for practicing their right to free expression.”

Ferhat Tunç has been censored for many years by Turkish state media, and during his career he has been arrested several times. Ferhat Tunç has for years been a very important spokesman for the cultural rights of the Kurdish minority and earlier this year he received death threats.

A solidarity statement from the Human Rights Association in Turkey his Turkish colleagues state:

“We share Ferhat Tunç’s ideas which are prosecuted and we feel embarrassed because such ideas are prosecuted”

His Danish colleague Niels Hausgaard says that “This is a case of importance for all artists. I hope I can contribute to the understanding of the working conditions of artists and their options for expressing themselves.”

Mr. Hausgaard will represent his colleagues at DJBFA, a society of professional songwriters and composers.

This is not the first time artists express their solidarity for Ferhat Tunç.

In December 2005 several international artists, including Marcel Khalife and Salman Ahmad joined a Freemuse campaign requesting the Turkish State to drop another case against Ferhat Tunç.

Music prize to Tunç
Earlier this year MEP, Jens-Peter Bonde, was awarded an honorary music price by DJBFA for his work for the protection of composers rights in Europe.

Mr. Bonde will hand over the price to Ferhat Tunç during the visit to Izmir.

Mr. Bonde has been a Member of the European Parliament since 1979. Today he represents the Danish June Movement and is the chair the IND/DEM group who are working for independence and democracy in the EU and is also co-chairman of the SOS Democracy Intergroup and founding member of the EU Democrats.

Tunç Freemuse ambassador
Ferhat Tunç recently became an official Freemuse ambassador and writes in a letter:

“I accepted this invitation that I took great pride in. In this way I will be required to take a more active role in international activities of Freemuse.”

Ferhat Tunç visited the Freemuse office in Copenhagen in January 2006 and spoke at a meeting in the Danish Parliament. He even met with Danish MP’s – amongst them former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Mogens Lykketoft.


Read full story at:

Ferhat Tunç – Material for the press
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For further press information

Ole Reitov, Freemuse
Phone: +45 33 32 10 27 (office hours)
Cell : +45 23 23 27 65

Jens-Peter Bonde, MEP
Phone: +32 (0) 2 284 7167
Fax : +32 (0) 2 284 9167

Requests regarding Mr. Hausgaard and DJBFA:
Poul-Henrik Jensen, DJBFA
Phone: +45 21 48 79 14

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