Turkish court hands down 6-year jail sentence to German-Kurdish singer

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PHOTO: ZDF

A Turkish court in the western Turkish province of Edirne has given a jail sentence of six years, three months to a German-Kurdish singer, accusing her of membership in the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), Deutsche Welle reported on Wednesday.

The singer, who goes by the name Hozan Cane, was acquitted on two further counts of incitement and insulting the founder of modern Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. In all, she faced up to 13 years behind bars.

The woman, whose trial began on Sept. 26, followed court proceedings via video link from the Bakırköy Women’s Prison in İstanbul. Her lawyer, Newroz Akalın, said the verdict would be appealed.

Turkey, the European Union and the United States consider the PKK a terrorist organization.

Cane was arrested in Edirne in June after she had appeared at a campaign event for the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) ahead of national elections. Prosecutors focused on some of Cane’s Facebook posts in their arguments.

Cane’s family said the photos in the posts were taken during the filming of a movie about Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) atrocities committed against Iraq’s Yazidis, a religious group, some of whose members identify as ethnic Kurds. The photos show Cane with fighters from the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) in Syria. The Turkish government also sees the YPG — which is fighting ISIL — as linked to the PKK and has been attacking them militarily in Syria.

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