Raziye Kızıl, President of the Komela Jinen Dengbej (KJD) Women Dengbejler House, is dealing with two trials against her on the grounds of having sung Kurdish folk songs. As reported on Monday (10 October), Kızıl, also known as Gazin, was now sentenced to imprisonment of one year in the scope of the first trial. She is facing prison terms of up to another five years in the second case.
On 7 February 2010, Kızıl sang the two songs "Megri" ('Don't Cry') and "Lo Lawo" upon request at the Dengbejler Council held at the Tatvan Municpality Culture Centre (south-eastern Turkey). The event was recorded on video by the police.
The Tatvan Police put forward that in these two songs Kızıl praised two members of an illegal organization named "Mesut" and "Mustafa" who were killed in the course of armed conflicts on the "Gabar" Mountain. The police filed a criminal complaint with the Tatvan Public Prosecution because an "element of crime" had allegedly been constituted.
The prosecution based its opinion on the footage of the police CD and sent the file to the Van 3rd High Criminal Court with the request to open a lawsuit.
The court assessed the Tatvan Public Prosecution's evaluation of the CD and the photographs taken during the event as evidence. Based on Article 7/2 of the Anti-Terror Law (TMY), Kızıl was sentenced to imprisonment of one year on charges of "making propaganda for an illegal organization".
"Police translated lyrics incorrectly"
In a statement made to bianet, Kızıl said that the police made mistakes in the translation of the lyrics. She pointed out that the words "Gabar" and "Mesut" as mentioned by the police did not occur in the songs.
"This song is about two students called Mustafa and Mahsun who were killed in the course of the Amara demonstration in 2009 as the result of the military intervention. The word 'Amara' was translated as 'Gabar'. The name 'Mahsun' was translated as 'Mesut'. And these two people were depicted [in the translation] as terrorists killed at 'Gabar'. However, the court did not even take my defence seriously. They gave me a one-year punishment based on the wrong lyrics as translated by the police", Kızıl claimed.
"Everybody should sing freely"
Kızıl referred to TRT 6, a state television channel broadcasting in Kurdish and criticized the fact that people like her are still being punished for Kurdish songs.
"Turkey has to overcome this. What are they trying to do? What we are saying is just a work of music. In any case, what is the benefit for the country to open a case by reasons of supposed meanings. It is impossible to understand this anti-democratic application against a local artist like me while TRT 6 is broadcasting in Kurdish. I wish we did not have these issues in this country any more. These trials are sad for all of us. We are artists. It does not matter if you are a Turk, a Kurd, a Laz or a Circassian - everybody should be able to sing songs freely in their mother language. It cannot be a crime to sing a folk song", Kızıl stated.
Five-year prison threat
Kızıl is facing another five-year sentence in the scope of a trial based on a song she sang at the Newroz festival in Erciş/Van in 2010. She is tried before the Erciş High Criminal Court under allegations of "singing a song with separatist contents". (OC/HK/VK)
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