Turkey: Charges against musician of insult to prime minister
On 16 January 2015 an investigation was opened against folk music artist Kutsal Evcimen because of insulting the prime minister of the time, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, with the folk song ‘Satın Eşek Sıpaları’ which he sang – and with a short speech he made – during Malatya 11th International Arguvan Folk Music Festival.
The Initiative for Free Expression newsletter quoted a testimony by Evcimen which indicated that the related folk song was composed 30 years ago by Rıza Karahan.
“There is simile and metaphor in folk music. There is absolutely no personal discourse. There is no insult in any song I sing, or any speech I make. The AKP government oppresses everyone who doesn’t think the way they do, and puts them on trial,” stated Kutsal Evcimen.
The song concerned is allegedly about a donkey.