Turkish court sentences German-Kurdish singer Cane to 6 years in prison

German-Kurdish singer Saide İnaç, who goes by the name Hozan Cane, has been found guilty of membership in the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) by the Turkish government led by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

She is the third German citizen in as many months to be sentenced to prison in Turkey, according to a report by Deutsche Welle (DW).

A Turkish court in the city of Edirne has sentenced İnaç to six years, three months in prison, convicting her of PKK membership.

She was acquitted on two further counts of incitement and insulting the founder of modern Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. In all, she faced up to 13 years behind bars. İnaç, whose trial began on September 26, followed court proceedings via video link from the Bakirköy Women’s Prison in İstanbul. Her attorney, Nevruz Akalın, said the verdict would be appealed.

The singer was arrested in Edirne in June 2018 after she appeared at a campaign event for the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) ahead of national elections. Prosecutors focused on some of İnaç’s Facebook posts in their arguments.

İnaç’s family said the photos in the posts were taken during the filming of a movie about Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) atrocities committed against Iraq’s Yazidis, a religious group, some of whose members identify as ethnic Kurds. The photos show Cane with fighters from the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) in Syria. The Turkish government also sees the YPG — which is fighting ISIL — as linked to the PKK and has been attacking them militarily in Syria.

According to DW, the German Foreign Office said the singer is receiving support from the German Consulate General in İstanbul and that representatives were present during the trial.

İnaç is a German citizen and a resident of Cologne.

İnaç is the third German in as many months to be sentenced to prison in Turkey on terrorism-related charges. At least four other German citizens are currently in Turkish prisons and due to be tried on terrorism charges in the coming weeks.

German Left Party parliamentarian Sevim Dağdelen called İnaç’s trial “a political farce.” She says it simply shows that “Turkey is not a country of laws but rather a despotic regime.”

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