Kurdish artist Beytullah Güneri, known as Beytocan, has passed away in Sweden on Tuesday. The 68-year-old artist’s family and friends announced his death in the early hours of the morning in Stockholm.
Beytocan had been undergoing cancer treatment in Sweden for some time and had recently undergone a major operation.
During his artistic career, Beytocan released four albums, one of which, ‘Yan mirin yan Diyarbekir’ (Diyarbakır or Death), was banned in Turkey. In a recent interview before his death, he addressed the challenges he faced in pursuing his art amidst adversity.
Arrested during the coup
Born in 1955 in the Silvan (Farqîn) district of Turkey’s Kurdish-majority southeastern province of Diyarbakır (Amed), Beytocan was arrested after the military coup on 12 September 1980 and sentenced to 15 years in prison. He spent 6.5 years in prison before being released in 1987.
In 1990, Beytocan released his first album, but a year later, in 1991, he was forced to emigrate to Sweden. His artistic contributions have had a lasting impact on the Kurdish music scene, and his perseverance in the face of challenges has earned him the respect and admiration of fans worldwide.