Jailed Kurdish musician Nûdem Durak responded to the questions of Gülcan Dereli of Yeni Yaşam. The first interview that has been conducted with Durak since she was incarcerated in 2016 and was published on Monday.
Durak was sentenced to 19 years in prison over ‘terrorism’ charges essentially because of singing Kurdish songs with political content.
Nûdem began to have serious health problems after she was jailed. Her mother Hatice Durak recently said that her daughter has been suffering from goitre and a weakening of her bones due to osteolysis.
An international campaign in solidarity with Nûdem Durak has been joined by American thinker and linguist Noam Chomsky, British film director Ken Loach, musicians Peter Gabriel and Roger Waters and actress Maxine Peake, American actors Mark Ruffalo and John Cusack, and political activist Angela Davis, and Greek economist Yanis Varoufakis.
Roger Waters sent his autographed guitar to you, but it was not delivered by the Turkish authorities. Many musicians and intellectuals called for your freedom, including Waters, American actor and writer John Kusack, actor Mark Ruffalo, political activist Angela Davis, and linguist Noam Chomsky. Are you aware of this campaign of solidarity? How does it feel?
I know about the solidarity campaign. I am excited. It’s a hopeful excitement. The fact that they care for me makes me happy and optimistic. I get very emotional, and it gives me incredible strength. I would like to express my gratitude to all those distinguished people who have acted in solidarity.
The guards in prison smashed the guitar that your mother bought by selling her ring. The guitar Roger Waters sent to you was not delivered. Do you still not have a guitar?
I actually have a guitar, but the strings need to be changed. My brother said he would bring me a new guitar on his next visit. I’ll give him back the guitar I have now when he does.
We learned that you have health issues and that you’re afraid of not being able to sing again. Can you sing? How is your health?
Yes, I currently have health conditions. I have a toxic goitre. I take my medicines. Even though I sometimes have difficulties, I can still make music and sing.
Do you continue to make songs?
My music comes first, and yes, of course, I try to make my music.
Do you have a message for the people?
Of course I have a message for the people. I can’t understand why people are kept in the confinement of four walls while there is a free sky and the possibility of singing in the company of flying birds. Only by reading can we share each other’s sorrows. I send my love and greetings to those who have humanity in them. Hope to meet you in the great future.