Footage shows accusations against Kurdish singer Kaya 'baseless'

Writer and filmmaker Hayri Avgar recently obtained the footage of Kaya's Berlin concert to use in a documentary.

Footage shows accusations against Kurdish singer Kaya 'baseless'

Recently obtained footage of a 1999 concert by Kurdish folk singer Ahmet Kaya shows that, contrary to past claims, the singer did not promote the militant Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) or pose in front of a poster of the militant group's now-jailed leader.

Only days after the concert in Berlin, the Hürriyet daily published a story suggesting that Kaya “disgraced himself.”

According to the daily, the singer sang in front of an imaginary map showing the eastern and southeastern parts of Turkey as “Kurdistan” and a poster of the PKK's jailed leader, Abdullah Öcalan. Before starting the concert, Kaya reportedly said he did not bring a band with him because that would be too costly. “Men on the mountains need money,” the daily quoted Kaya as saying.

The singer was supposedly referring to the financial needs of PKK militants in the mountains. After the Hürriyet report, the now-defunct State Security Court (DGM) in İstanbul sentenced Kaya to three years, nine months in prison. In the meantime, the singer fled the country and did not return.

Writer and filmmaker Hayri Avgar recently obtained the footage of Kaya's Berlin concert to use in a documentary. Titled the “Exile of a Rainy Country,” the documentary illustrates the life of the Kurdish singer.

"Photomontage"

Avgar spoke to the Cihan news agency and said the footage shows that accusations against the singer were baseless.

“The Hürriyet daily used a black and white photo in its report. That's a conscious choice because the camera footage of the concert is in color. The daily claims that the photo was retrieved from the video footage of the concert. Here we understand that the photo showing Kaya in front of a poster of Abdullah Öcalan is a photomontage. If this was not the case, they could have printed a color photo of Kaya,” he stated.

Avgar also said the singer did not promote the PKK in his concert speech. According to Avgar, Kaya said in the concert: “Singers bring large bands to concerts, but large bands want much money. For example, they want 8,000 German marks for each concert in Germany; then add the plane tickets and travel expenses and the sum gets bigger. It is not hard to afford, but I believe people in Turkish ‘Kurdistan' need that money more. Therefore, I think it is unnecessary to bring a large band to the concert.” The filmmaker also stated that the concert was not organized by the PKK, as previously claimed. “It was organized by an artisans union in Berlin," he said.


Agencies

Last Mod: 14 Aralık 2010, 16:52
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