Duvar English

A Kurdish singer has said that he was threatened by gendarmerie officials and members of the National Intelligence Organization (MİT) to not sing in Kurdish in the eastern province of Bitlis.

Cesim Başboğa, who has been singing in Kurdish for long years in Bitlis’ Tatvan district and whose concerts are not allowed, said that he took the issue to the Human Rights Association (İHD).

The singer said that he was called to provincial gendarmerie headquarters on the weekend and was taken to a room with MİT written on.

“You’d be in trouble if you sing in Kurdish again,” officials reportedly told Başboğa.

According to Başboğa, a senior MİT official asked for time alone with the singer to tell him that he has been making propaganda of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP).

“We haven’t been hearing good things about you Cesim. You’ve been attending all the events organized by the HDP and making propaganda via singing Kurdish songs,” the official reportedly told the singer.

“You’ve been provoking people with songs. You attend all the weddings in villages and sing radical Kurdish songs. We’ve translated all of your songs to Turkish and determined that you’ve been making propaganda,” the official added.

Başboğa said that the official “banned him to sing in Kurdish.”

“You won’t make HDP propaganda. I’m warning you for the last time. You’ll be in trouble in the smallest mistake,” he reportedly said.

The singer noted that he will file a complaint.