Mar 05 2019

Government attacks prompt Kurdish folk singer to leave Turkey

Prominent Kurdish folk singer Ferhat Tunç on Monday announced on Twitter that he was leaving Turkey due to government harassment and oppression.

"They (authorities) were not satisfied with the prison sentence; they started several new investigations and criminal cases against me with the claims of 'making propaganda of (terrorist) organisation' and 'membership of organisation' and they continue filing news cases. On top of it, they pointed me as a target."

Last September, a Turkish judge gave the Kurdish singer a nearly two-year jail sentence for conducting terror propaganda through his social media postings.

Tunç said he began a "difficult journey" on Monday, leaving a "tired, wounded country behind". "Without taking a step back, I will continue to think, speak, produce abroad for some time," he added.

Tunç, who is from mainly Kurdish-Alevi Dersim in east Turkey, maintains a politically-charged Twitter account with a particular interest in issues affecting Turkey’s Kurdish and Alevi populations, as well as human rights violations.

Tunç was a parliamentary candidate for the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) in the general elections of June 2018.

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