After a street performance by a group of Kurdish musicians was disrupted and stopped by police in Istanbul’s crowded Istiklal Avenue at the weekend, followed by four of the musicians being detained, a press conference in protest has been held at the same spot on Tuesday.
Ferhat Encü, the co-chair of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) said: “There is an intolerance against the Kurdish language. We, as the HDP Istanbul branch, do not accept this (…) We are going to keep making Kurdish music always and everywhere.’’
After the press conference, attended by representatives of NGOs alongside HDP MPs Hüda Kaya, Züleyha Gülüm and Zeynel Özen, a group of musicians performed and sang Kurdish songs.
Protests against the ban on Kurdish music and language gained popularity on social media under the hashtags #MûzîkaKurdî and #KürtçeMüzikSusmayacak.