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Radio Dünya acquitted for second time on charges related to broadcasting Kurdish song

(BIANET/IFEX) - Radio Dünya, based in the province of Adana, has been acquitted for a second time on charges of "incitement to hatred and hostility" after the airing of a Kurdish song had landed it in court. The station's broadcasting editor, Mehmet Arslan, was also acquitted.

Following a trial and acquittal in 2007 for broadcasting a song called "Mihemendo" sung by Sivan Perwer, a famous Kurdish singer in exile, Arslan faced a second court case for airing the song "Keçe Kurdan" (Kurdish girl), sung by Aynur Dogan.

At the third hearing held at Adana's Second Criminal Court, the radio broadcaster rejected the charges, arguing that the folk song did not contain any lyrics to incite the public to hatred or hostility. Arslan added that the song is available for purchase by the general public as it is contained on one of Dogan's cassettes which bears a Ministry of Culture tax stamp.

His lawyer, Kenan Karavil, drawing on expert opinions, argued that some of the translations of the song into Turkish had been "distorted", and that the song did not contain anything "criminal".

Prosecutor Hasan Öz demanded that Arslan be acquitted, saying that a consideration of the song and other songs on the singer's cassette showed that there was no "clear and present danger" of incitement to hatred and hostility.

Head judge Recai Kaya then acquitted Arslan. The Contemporary Lawyers' Association (ÇHD) in Adana spoke to the press in front of the court, demanding that there be an end to the repression of the Kurds.

BACKGROUND:
Radio Dünya was put on trial for playing the song "Mihemendo" on 16 October 2007. The Anti-terrorism unit of the Adana police had filed a complaint against the station, but the same criminal court acquitted the radio station.

Updates the Radio Dünya case: http://www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/101116

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