Turkish prosecutor requests 7-year sentence for Kurdish university student over whistling Kurdish song

A group of students at Dicle University in Diyarbakır province has been facing possible sentences ranging from over 7 years to 28 years on terrorism charges, reported by the online news portal T24 on Tuesday.

According to a report by online news portal Ahval, 12 Kurdish students have been accused of committing crimes ranging from “spreading propaganda for a terrorist organisation” to “committing crimes in the name of a terrorist organisation” while participating in a rally during the celebration of Nevruz, which marks the start of the new year in mid-March.

The prosecution claims that the Nevruz rally was the scene of “threats and calls to violence,” and the terrorist organisation the students are accused of colluding with is likely the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), a group that has been in armed conflict with Turkish security forces for decades.

One of the students, identified in the indictment as Suat Mustafa Ş., has been accused of “making terrorist propaganda” for whistling a Kurdish song during the Nevruz rally, according to T24’s report.

“As I was passing the scene of the incident, a person wearing civilian clothes approached me, told me he were from the police, took me by the arm and told me to come with him. I asked to see identification but wasn’t shown any,” said the student.

“Then four or five police officers came to take me away. I wasn’t whistling any (PKK) song provocatively in any police officers’s faces. I was whistling a song by a Kurdish artist.” A video reportedly taken at the scene appears to corroborate this version of events.

Take a second to support SCF on Patreon!