Turkish rap singer suffers smear campaign after saying "Kurdistan"

Turkish rap singer suffers smear campaign after saying "Kurdistan"
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Turkish rapper Ezhel became a victim of a smear campaign by pro-government media and social media trolls after he uttered the word "Kurdistan" in an online chat.

Turkey's pro-government media has launched a smear campaign against Sercan Iplikcioglu, a Turkish rapper also known by his stage name "Ezhel," for using the word "Kurdistan."

"I support Kurdistan and the Kurds. In any case, the capital of Kurdistan is Ankara, Istanbul. I think that somehow these problems will be solved," he said in a Twitter chat.

The singer, whose song "Aya" has been streamed more than 80 million times on Spotify, lamented the history of minorities in Turkey, saying:

"The Greeks are already gone, the Armenians are already gone. When the Kurds are gone too, my heart will not stand still. (...) At that time I was also a fascist. If someone spoke Kurdish on the bus, I was pissed off. Because that's how I was brought up. But I think we will see good days."

After these words, the pro-government Turkish media launched an orchestrated attack against the artist.

"PKK propaganda by Ezhel," screamed the Star newspaper, referring to the armed Kurdish group Kurdistan Workers Party and recalling a lawsuit against the singer accusing him of "inciting drug use," of which he was acquitted in nine minutes at the first hearing in 2018.

A copy of the same text as Star also appeared on Yeni Safak, which also recorded "fierce reactions" on social media.

Aykiri, Turkiye and Aksam newspapers also called Ezhel's testimony "scandalous."

After the attacks on Ezhel, many curses and insults rained down on their individual Twitter accounts.

After being targeted by state media, Ezhel was attacked by thousands of users on social media.