Rock music legend, bassist and founder of the band Pink Floyd, Roger Waters called for the Kurdish singer Nûdem Durak who has been behind bars in Bayburt Prison since 2015 and sentenced to 19 years of imprisonment for the songs she performed during the Newroz festival.
She was charged with ‘terrorist propaganda’ and accused of communicating with members of the PKK (the Kurdistan Workers Party). She was convicted of “membership in an illegal organisation” and sentenced without presenting evidence properly in her defence.
Before her arrest, Durak was a member of the musical group Koma Sorxwîn and played music by herself at Cizre’s Mem û Zîn Cultural Center, a recently demolished gathering place for Kurds in southeastern Turkey.
Waters shared a message from his official Twitter account and called on Erdogan to release her.
We will get you out #NûdemDurak pic.twitter.com/Fkjaj9g2hE
— Roger Waters (@rogerwaters) February 11, 2022
“Nûdem Durak is our sister,” Waters says, “and we have an absolute responsibility to support her and the hundreds of thousands of others who continue to suffer her fate with false imprisonment and incarceration all over the world, not least in the United States and the United Kingdom.”
“Whatever you think of the Kurds’ desire for recognition, it is unacceptable for a country with a great historical art heritage like Turkey to treat artists like this.”
Roger Waters also came up with an idea to attract attention to Nûdem Durak’s case: He is sending his black Martin acoustic guitar to Bayburt prison, where Nûdem Durak is staying. Moreover, many of rock’s biggest names are signing on the instrument with words of support, including Townsend, Gabriel, Plant, May, Marianne Faithfull, Mark Knopfler, Noel Gallagher, and Waters’ onetime Pink Floyd bandmate, Nick Mason.
Roger Waters is part of an international campaign launched to support the Kurdish musician Nûdem Durak. The campaign, launched in France to secure the release of the 33-year-old musician, is being waged with the support of artists and intellectuals from the UK, the USA, Sweden, Senegal, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Guadeloupe and other countries.
Other internationally known personalities such as Angela Davis, Noam Chomsky, Ken Loach, David Graeber and Peter Gabriel have also called for the release of Nûdem Durak.
The campaign can be found under “Free Nûdem Durak” on various social networks, including Twitter, Instagram and Youtube.