Band members detained after playing Kurdish song
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.
bugün Kocaeli de katıldığımız sersal etkinliğinde Hevra üyelerimiz Yusuf ve Gencay arkadaşlarımız keyfi bir şekilde gözaltına alındılar— Hevra (@gruphevra) January 22, 2023
Bir Kürtçe şarkıya bile tahümülü olmayan iktidara buradan bir kez daha diyoruz ki baskılar bizi yıldıramaz #arkadaşlarımızıderhalserbestbırakın pic.twitter.com/7iRR1Q2zmq
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.