Turkey: Banned rapper did not back down

18 June 2008

In 2000, when Turkish rapper Sultana launched her debut album with the song ‘Kuşu Kalkmaz’ its music video was immediately banned from tv. She then moved to the US, and disappeared from the lime light. After an eight-year hiatus Sultana is now re-entering the music stage. Television channels were instructed …

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Turkey: Three children stand trial for singing a march in Kurdish

9 June 2008

Three members of a Kurdish children’s choir face prison charges by Turkish prosecutors for simply singing an old Kurdish song, reported Initiative for Freedom of Expression in Turkey on 6 June 2008. An online petition and a ‘civil disobedience action’ seek to stop the prosecution. Three teenagers, members of the …

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Iraq: Students are still hiding their instruments

5 June 2008

Going to school is a dangerous mission for every child in Baghdad – but for the students of Iraq’s Music and Ballet School, there is an added threat of being attacked because of their love for music. This article summons the latest news from the musical life in Iraq. By: Kristina …

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Saudi Arabia: Interview with founder of thrash metal band

4 June 2008

Interview with Faisal Al-Alamy, founder of the Saudi Arabian thrash metal band Octum. They released a demo entitled ‘Fighting For Freedom’ in January 2008 By Mik Aidt, Freemuse Guitarist Faisal Al-Alamy lives in Jeddah, and two years ago – inspired by bands such as Megadeth, Metallica, and Kreator – he …

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Turkey: Singer Ferhat Tunc’s trial postponed again

29 May 2008

On 28 May 2008 Ferhat Tunç stood trial over an article entitled ‘a revolutionaty Leyla and a song’ which was published in Özgür Gündem newspaper. But once again, the trial was postponed. Ferhat Tunç was charged with ‘insulting the judiciary’ according to Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code. Beyoğlu …

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Saudi Arabia: Musicians’ freedom expanded

27 May 2008

There has been a quiet, yet marked increase in cultural activities in Saudi Arabia during the past couple of months. New music bands emerge, and the internet has become an important meeting place for underground musicians. “There is a revolution taking place,” stated the American tv news reporter Nic Robertson …

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Pakistan: Music breaks chains in North West Pakistan

21 May 2008

The melody of Pashto music has been in chains for the last five years. The former government of a six-party religious alliance imposed curbs on music in public and a consequent wave of militancy targeted singers, musicians and music shops all over the province. Today the Pashto melody has found …

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Iraq: Religious restrictions cause singers to flee

20 May 2008

 Singers, musicians and other artists are fleeing Iraq after dozens have been killed by Islamic radicals determined to eradicate all culture associated with the West, reported The Observer on 11 May 2008 In November 2007, Seif Yehia, 23, was beheaded for singing Western songs at weddings. Since the US-led invasion …

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Turkey: Singer Bulent Ersoy taken to court

19 May 2008

The famous transsexual singer Bülent Ersoy has been charged for “alienating the people from military service”. Bakırköy public prosecutor Ali Çakır asked for three year prison sentence for singer Bülent Ersoy because of what she said in the Turkish tv show ‘Popstar Alaturka’ where she was part of the jury: …

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Bahrain: Parliament’s attempt to ban singer failed

5 May 2008

 Bahrain’s Islamist parliament members wanted to ban the Lebanese singer Haifa Wehbe from performing in the country because of her sexy looks. They were not successful. Instead, their attempt gave the singer great publicity world-wide Singer and pop diva Haifa Wehbe (also spelled: Hayfa Wahbi) has so far emerged the …

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