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Turkey releases detained Syrian singer Souleyman

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Celebrated Syrian singer Omar Souleyman was released Friday after being detained on a “terrorist propaganda” charge in southeast Turkey, his lawyer told Agence France-Presse.

“Omar Souleyman was released at 10:00 am (0700 GMT),” his lawyer Reşit Tuna said.

Souleyman was detained on Wednesday in the southern Turkish city of Şanlıurfa, where he has been running a bakery since escaping Syria’s civil war which began in 2011.

Police questioned Souleyman over reported claims he had ties to the People’s Protection Units, which Turkey says is the Syrian offshoot of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

The PKK, blacklisted as a terrorist group by Ankara and its Western allies, has been waging an insurgency against the Turkish state since 1984.

He was in custody for 24 hours at a police station in Şanlıurfa, a province 50 kilometers (30 miles) from the Syrian border, before being taken on Thursday to a shelter serving as a detention center for people due to be deported from Turkey, Tuna said.

Şanlıurfa governor’s office was not able to immediately confirm the singer’s release when contacted by AFP.

Souleyman has won international recognition for his melodic mix of dance and folk music, collaborating with artists such as Bjork and the Blur’s frontman Damon Albarn.

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