Mersin court bans opposition HDP’s referendum song in Kurdish across Turkey

Kurdish singer Şeyda Perinçek.

A court in Turkey’s  southern province of Mersin has banned pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party’s (HDP) official song for referendum campaign, “Bejin Na‘’ (Say No), across the country with the allegation of “inciting hatred and hostility among the people.”

The HDP’s campaign song was composed by Kurdish singer Şeyda Perinçek and widely used by Kurdish politicians while campaigning to persuade people to vote “no” in a critical referendum on April 16 that will introduce an executive presidency in the country if approved.

According to a decision taken by the 2nd Criminal Magistrate of Peace in Mersin, the words in the song like “No, no to one flag, no, no to one nation, no to one language” are assessed as violations of Turkish constitution. Turkey’s autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has frequently used the motto of “one flag, one state, one nation” in his political rallies.

Last week, the Şırnak Governor’s Office had announced that the HDP campaign song “Bejin Na‘’ (Say No) has been banned in Şırnak for “inciting hatred and hostility among the people.” The governor’s office in southeastern province of Muş had also banned the song following the bans in Diyarbakır, Van and Şırnak provinces.

Moreover, a court in Turkey’s Şanlıurfa province has banned pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) billboards prepared to promote a “no” campaign for a referendum to be held on April 16. A photo of Figen Yüksekdağ, jailed co-chair of the HDP, was cited as the reason for the ban by the court.

April 4, 2017

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