Turkish rapper withdraws from protest song project after criminal complaint

Defkhan, a Turkish rapper who joined 17 others in a protest song project named Susamam – “I can’t stay silent” - withdrew from the project a day after Sözcü newspaper reported that someone had filed a criminal complaint against the group.

Şanışer and 17 other rappers released a 15-minute track early this month taking aim at what they said was injustice and corruption, mentioning subjects such as the environment and violence against women. Another track released on the same day by famous Turkish artist, Ezhel, dealt with similar themes. 

In just 17 hours after it was uploaded to YouTube, the Susamam video had racked up nearly 3.5 million views.

The pro-government daily on Sunday attacked both songs, saying they were a “joint production” between the Gülen religious movement and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), both of which are listed by Turkey as terrorist organisations.

Someone filed a criminal complaint against 18 rappers who took part in Susamam project, Sözcü reported on Tuesday. Prosecutors accepted the complaint and were examining it, the newspaper said. 

Defkhan announced on Twitter on Wednesday that he had withdrawn from the project as it had become too politicised.

“Hello friends … I want to announce that I have left the song and the project because of the political escalation around the song Susamam. The reason I am announcing it late is that I did not want it to turn into a personal show and because of my deep respect and love for you,” he said. 

Defkhan later locked his Twitter account after he said he faced a social media lynch mob, adding that he really did not love politics.