Band members detained after playing Kurdish song

Band members detained after playing Kurdish song
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HDP deputy Omer Faruk Gergerliogğlu announced that two members of the band Grup Hevra were taken into custody by the police after a concert in which they sang songs in the Kurdish language

Police on Sunday detained two members of a Kurdish music band after they sang a Kurdish song in the western Turkish province of Kocaeli, a Turkish deputy said.

After a concert organized by the youth group of the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) in the Darica district of Kocaeli, Gencay Morkoc and Yusuf Keles, two members of the band Hevra, were detained by the police for singing songs in Kurdish, Omer Faruk Gergerlioglu of the HDP said on Twitter.

"With this justification, in the 21st century, you are still detaining people?" he asked Turkish authorities, demanding the immediate release of the artists.

The band also issued a statement on Twitter condemning the detention.

"We once again tell the government, which cannot even bear a song in Kurdish, that oppression cannot intimidate us," the band said, adding a video of its members being detained by police.

The Kurdish language remains a problem in Turkey, and some recent incidents show how difficult it is for the millions of Kurds to speak their native language freely.

Last month in the Turkish National Assembly, HDP MP Imam Tascier was prevented from delivering his speech in Kurdish language during budget discussions.

In the same week, the Turkish TV channel ATV turned off the sound when an old woman began to express her feelings in Kurdish as she hugged her daughter who had left her long ago.

A week earlier, the imprisoned former mayor of Hizan, İhsan Ugur, was denied treatment in a hospital and sent back to prison because he spoke Kurdish.