Nûdem Durak, a young Kurdish female singer who has been under arrest since 2016 on fabricated terrorism charges, is thankful that Pink Floyd co-founder and rock legend, Roger Waters has become an active supporter of the campaign for her release and told a London based news outlet New Arab that she would like to share a stage with him one day.
“Let me tell you about one of my youth dreams: To do a gig with one of the fantastic singers like Roger Waters and his friends,” Durak said. “It would be amazing to share a concert with them and perform a duet. It would make me so happy and proud.”
Roger Waters made a decision to send his original guitar he used in his 2017 Us + Them Tour to the singer, who is serving a 19 year sentence in a Turkish jail, when Durak’s family made it public in 2018 that prison guards had smashed Nûdem’s own acoustic guitar during a cell search.
“Although we sing in different languages, just them thinking of me, showing solidarity, and building a bridge between us is brilliant. Music unites!” Durak said, responding to questions in writing.
The guitar, signed by Waters himself as well as other very famous musicians, including Pete Townsend, Robert Plant, Peter Gabriel, Brian May, Marianne Faithfull, Mark Knopfler, Noel Gallagher and Nick Mason, went through several stops in its journey from New York to Turkey and finally reached the prison in northeastern Bayburt province in Turkey.
The prison administration refused to hand the guitar over to Durak, saying electric instruments were not allowed.
In an earlier message, Waters had called on Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to release Durak, and in another again spoken for her freedom and freedom of all political prisoners.
“I am smiling because it is really important that I am thinking about you. Because it just shows how important love is. And we will go on until you and all the other political prisoners in Turkey and hopefully all over the rest of the world are set free,” Waters said.
Durak is one of thousands of Kurds arrested over alleged ties to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). In her case, she was accused of having contacted a PKK member.
At least 3,524 Kurds have been arrested in Turkey since 2015, when a so called peace process between the Turkish state and PKK failed, while 14,792 Kurds have experienced detention, the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) deputy Necdet İpekyüz told the outlet.
The HDP itself is now currently facing closure, standing accused of having become a ‘focus of terrorist activity’. A total of 451 politicians from the party, including former co-chairs, deputies and mayors, are facing prison sentences and bans from engaging in politics. The party, as the second largest opposition block in the country, rejects all charges.