An MP voiced her protest in the Turkish parliament on Tuesday at recent bans on the concerts of Kurdish musicians Aynur Doğan and the brothers Metin and Kemal Kahraman, who sing both in Kurdish and Turkish, by herself briefly performing songs in two languages: English and Kurdish.
During her address in the parliament, main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) MP Nurhayat Altaca Kayışoğlu sang two songs in succession, the first in English, and the second in Kurdish, and used only seven words.
She started by saying merely, “In this country…,” and began to sing Every Way That I Can, Turkey’s English-language winning entry in the Eurovision song contest in 2003.
“We may sing this,” she said after singing the English language song, adding after the Kurdish one, “We may not sing this.”
Kayışoğlu’s protest, a first in Turkey’s political history with a CHP deputy singing in Kurdish during a parliamentary session, was met with applause.
Meanwhile, male politicians from the ruling alliance were targeting Doğan in attempts to link her with terrorism.
Devlet Bahçeli, leader of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), said of Doğan in a speech in parliament that she was a “fake artist who has performed songs under posters of a baby killer”, using a phrase commonly employed by Turkey’s right-wing against Abdullah Öcalan, leader of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
Mustafa Elitaş, parliamentary group deputy chairman of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) said, “It is unfair to say that (the ban) was against singing in Kurdish, or that it was animosity against the Kurds.”
“I do not know who Aynur Doğan is, but we asked around, and she has the PKK behind her, she makes PKK propaganda,” Elitaş said, without citing any evidence.
On the Sunday before, the AKP mayor of Derince, a seaport city in western Turkey, had made a statement announcing the cancellation of Doğan’s planned concert.
Two days after the cancellation, the governorate of the Kurdish-majority province of Muş also announced a last-minute ban, this time on the concert of Metin and Kemal Kahraman, with no grounds given.