Ciya Senses, the lead singer of the band Koma Gulên Xerzan, has said that police officers told him during his recent detention that they consider Kurdish songs propaganda for a terrorist group, the pro-Kurdish Mezopotamya News Agency (MA) reported.
The Kurdish singer was detained in his house in Istanbul’s Gaziosmanpasa district following a police raid on June 18 on charges that include “making propaganda for a terrorist organization”.
The reason behind his detention is reportedly the songs he performed during the Newroz events of 2018 that were organized in Elazig and Ankara provinces by the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) members and some unions.
Senses on Wednesday told MA that police officers from the counterterrorism unit (TEM) raided his house early in the morning of June 18 and took him to the police station.
“They took my statement at the police station. I was kept waiting there for five hours. Then they wanted me to see the prosecutor. I saw that the indictment also includes the songs I performed during the Newroz [events] of 2013,” he added.
The singer also claimed that he was threatened by the police officers during his detention due to his ethnicity.
“The police told me: ‘You [Kurdish people] don’t have the right to live. Even when you sing songs in Kurdish that equals to making terrorist propaganda for us’,” Senses said.
Referring to the authorities from the President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) government, the singer said: “This is a politically motivated operation. We [Kurdish singers] know that they detain us upon order.”
He held forth that people should be sensitive towards these kinds of operations that aim to destroy and assimilate Kurdish people and people should support artists of Kurdish origin and their organizations.
Throughout most of the 20th century, successive governments have imposed outright bans or suppression to a high extent on the Kurdish language in Turkey.
As part of a crackdown targeting the Kurdish movement following the failed military coup targeting Erdogan and his AKP in July 2016, the Turkish government has shut down a number of Kurdish language institutes, dailies, websites, and TV channels.