Turkey: Supreme Court re-opens case against Ferhat Tunc

4 January 2011
Going to court is becoming a repeatative nightmare for singer Ferhat Tunç

Just before New Year 2011, the Kurdish singer found himself, once again, squeezed by the Turkish court system when The Court of Appeals 9th Chamber quashed the Malatya High Criminal Court’s verdict for the acquittal of the charges against the Kurdish singer of charges of “spreading propaganda for the [illegal] Maoist Communist Party MKP” on the grounds of a concert at the 2nd Nazımiye Düzgün Baba Festival on 12 August 2006.

The file was forwarded to the Court of Appeals 9th Chamber upon the objection of the prosecutor. The Supreme Court quashed the previous verdict and decided to re-try the case.

According to Bianet News Center, Tunç presented his defense against the reversal of judgment at the Istanbul High Criminal Court on 28 December 2010. He stated, “I believe that the previous decision for my acquittal given by the local court was appropriate and right. Therefore, I request not to follow the Court of Appeals’ decision to quash the verdict but to uphold the previous decision. I reiterate my defense previously presented.”

The artist’s lawyer Ercan Kanar described the decision of the Court of Appeals as “contrary to the law and doctrine” and requested to hold on to the decision of the local court.

Act of supporting crime
However, the Chief Prosecutor had alleged Ferhat Tunç of “making propaganda for an illegal terrorist organisation” by referring to the “memory of the 17’ers” (17 people who died in a military operation against the MKP in 2004).

The investigation document mentioned concert visitors chanting slogans such as “Dersim [former name of the Tunceli province] is proud of you” which was evaluated as an alleged “act of supporting crime”.

Freemuse Award winner Ferhat Tunç in his statement given to the Istanbul Prosecution during the investigation had stated that his speech at the concert was to be seen in the context of his thoughts on the Turkish peoples to live in peace.

“I knew most of the MKP members killed in the Mercan Valley in 2004 from my childhood. Nobody can expect me to remain indifferent and silent on this issue. I made a song about this massacre against unarmed, defenseless people, a song that condemns this incident and fully expresses humane feelings. Taking this song as the starting point, it is unacceptable to try to accuse me of assisting and accommodating an illegal organisation,” Ferhat Tunç claimed.

Ferhat Tunç’s speech was followed by his performance of a song called ‘No to war’.

(EÖ / VK)





Click to read more about Ferhat Tunc on
Ferhat Tunç

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Bianet News Agency – 03 January 2011:
‘Supreme Court Quashed Verdict for Acquittal of Kurdish Singer’

Bianet News Agency – 21 May 2010:

‘Kurdish artist faces 15 years in jail’


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