Kurdish singer and activist Ferhat Tunç was sentenced on Tuesday to one year, 11 months and 12 days in prison for disseminating the propaganda of a terrorist organization by means of social media messages, the Hürriyet daily reported.
“I am an artist. An artist does not act in accordance with conditions and governments,” Tunç said during his hearing at the Istanbul 36th High Criminal Court, defending the messages he shared on social media during the war between Kurdish militants and the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in the Syrian town of Kobani from the fall of 2014 to the spring of 2015.
“Whatever I have done was the result of my sensitivity as an artist. I don’t regret it,” Tunç said and added, “If I’m acquitted, that will be important for freedom of expression and for democracy.”
At the end of the hearing the court sentenced Tunç to one year, 11 months and 12 days in prison for spreading the propaganda of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK)/Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) and its Syrian proxy the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD)/People’s Defense Units (YPG).