Nationalist Singer Accused of Hate Speech
Türüt, a nationalist singer investigated for a song said to praise the murderers of journalist Hrant Dink, gave a statement at Sultanahmet law court yesterday.
İstanbul - Bıa news centre
21 September 2007, Friday 12:41
Singer Ismail Türüt and composer Arif Sirin( also known as Ozan Arif) arrived at the Sultanahmet Law Court yesterday (19 September) in order to make statements to Press Prosecutor Nurten Altinok.
An investigation has been started into the song "Plan, Don't make a plan", composed by Sirin and sung by Türüt. It is said to include references to and praise of the suspected murderers of journalist Hrant Dink. In addition, the song was put on the Internet website YouTube with a video clip about the murder.
Türüt and Sirin arrived in a Hammer jeep and a 20-strong body guard. When they left the building again, Radikal reporter Serkan Ocak asked, "Are these people your body guard?" Ocak was pointed at and threatened by a guard, who said, "Be careful!"
Türüt said, "Oh no, this is not a body guard. These are my friends, my fans." He added, "Those who made the [You Tube] clip are despicable. I am suing."
Lawyer Yesilyurt threatens
Journalist Ali Bayramoglu, who had written about the clip, has been threatened, and yesterday Türüt and Sirin's lawyer Ömer Yesilyurt chose the same tone in front of the law court:
"The ink on Elif Safak's novel has not dried. I call on all columnists who are burying their heads in the sand when people say "Armenians were murdered". We will continue to say what we know. Everyone should know their limits."
CHD has filed criminal complaint against Erdemir
The president of the Izmir Bar Association, Nevzat Erdemir, had spoken of the song as "patriotic and behaviour that needs to be congratulated".
The Modern Lawyers' Association (CHD) has filed a criminal complaint against Erdemir for "praising a crime and criminals" (Article 215 of the Turkish Penal Code) and "inciting the people to disobey laws" (Article 217) and "attempting to influence an impartial trial" (Article 288).
The CHD said, "During his three years as president of the Bar Association Nevzat Erdemir has never made a positive, modern or democratic statement in the name of law or justice and never shown such a reflex. It is shameful that he talks about the freedom of expression for the first time when he wants to protect and glorify those who legitimise and praise a murder."
"Not the first shameful act"
In their statement, the CHD also said, "This is not the first shameful act of the Izmir Bar Association and its president, who refused to openly condemn the murders of Hrant Dink, of the priest Santoro and the Malatya massacre."
The CHD accuses Erdemir of
"Closing the Group for Prevention of Torture as soon as he came to office and starting a slandering campaign against his colleagues who had worked in that group, together with [nationalist lawyer] Kerincsiz arranging the protest to "dip the Patriarch in the water", and allowing the administrator of the racist "Turkic Socialist People's Association" to join the bar as an administrator,"
"Organising the Talat Pasa march in Lausanne together with Dogu Perincek and his group,"
"Giving space to the racist texts of suspects in a gang trial on the bar website,"
"Protecting a lawyer who pointed a gun at colleagues at a plenary assembly"
"Ignoring the attitude of lawyer Fuat Turgur, who insulted and threatened Rakel Dink, her family and third-party lawyers at the first hearing of the Dink trial." (EÖ/NZ)