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Baris Cakan killed in Ankara for playing Kurdish music

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Baris Cakan killed in Ankara for playing Kurdish music

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue Jun 02, 2020 10:41 pm

Killed for being Kurdish

State denies racist motivation for murder of construction worker

Family members of a Kurdish man stabbed to death in the Turkish capital Ankara for listening to Kurdish music in a racist attack have hit back at officials who sought to downplay his murder.

Baris Cakan was at a park with friends on Sunday night when they were set upon by a group of Turkish nationalists who warned them over the music playing from their car stereo.

A cousin, Dogan Cakan, initially told the Mesopotamia News Agency that his family told him the group was attacked by “racist fascists” who confronted them over the noise and berated them for listening to “Kurdish music.”

He told reporters from the respected news agency that his cousin had been stabbed to death and “killed because he listened to Kurdish music.”

It was not the first time that the group of friends had been threatened for playing such music, Mr Cakan’s cousin said.

“Some have accused us of creating a false perception, but the news is correct. He is my relative.

“Some claimed he was a member of an organisation. But he was a construction worker who never hurt a fly,” he wrote on Twitter.

Reports of the murder have spread widely on social media, prompting a rebuttal from governor Vasip Sahin from Turkey’s ruling Justice & Development Party (AKP), who denied it was a racist attack, accusing the news agency of spreading “propaganda.”

He claimed that the attack occurred because the group was playing loud music and disrupting the Azan prayer recital.

Mr Sahin claimed that the murder was being used as “a tool for provocation” — an accusation that can carry serious consequences for journalists in Turkey, which tops the world list for detained media workers.

Following the governor’s intervention, Mr Cakan’s cousin thanked the police for their efforts and retweeted the statement, reversing his initial claims and confirming the AKP official’s account of the event as correct.

His father Nihat Cakan also explained to the Mesopotamia News Agency that his son’s friend told him that the group were attacked for disrupting prayers, dismissing earlier claims that it was because of Kurdish music.

But his grandparents confirmed to the agency that the original story was correct and that it was a racist murder, implying that the family and friends of Mr Cakan had been put under pressure to retract their claims by the authorities.

Veli Cokyaman thanked the news agency for telling the truth about the incident and said that the governor’s office was deliberately distorting it. He confirmed that Mr Cakan’s mother said that her son had been killed for playing Kurdish music, a fact backed by his friends.
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Baris Cakan killed in Ankara for playing Kurdish music

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Re: Baris Cakan killed in Ankara for playing Kurdish music

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue Jun 02, 2020 10:47 pm

Three arrested for fatal stabbing

A number of suspects have been arrested for the fatal stabbing of a young Kurdish man in the Turkish capital city of Ankara late Sunday. The murder of Baris Cakan has ignited a firestorm of accusations of discrimination and provocation familiar to the Turkish political scene

Ankara Governor Vasip Sahin's Office said in its statement that "suspects related to the incident were immediately detained and the required legal procedure will be carried out as per the Public Prosecutor's instructions."

The governor did not reveal how many people were detained, but a statement by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) claims three suspects were taken into custody.

Some, including pro-Kurdish media and politicians, have claimed that Baris was stabbed for listening to Kurdish music on his balcony to the botherment of the three perpetrators.

The pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) took this line, blaming the AKP for stoking racial tensions.

“The racist mindset that murdered Baris is nourished by the AKP government’s policies targeting the Kurdish language everywhere. We will continue to sing our songs against this mindset & stand with the oppressed,” the party tweeted Monday.

Meanwhile, AKP spokesperson Omer Celik slammed those who took the narrative of Kurdish music provoking the incident, accusing them of being part of a "provocation network."

"We curse both those who brutally attacked him and those who try to exploit the incident as a racist one," tweeted Celik.

The governor's office denied the claims that Kurdish music prompted the crime, claiming that a fight broke out over "music being played loudly and in a disturbing fashion," according to the statement given to police by a friend of the victim, initials B.A.

“Regarding the incident where a man was stabbed to death on Sunday, intentional and false claims have been spread on social media,” it said, adding that suspects have been arrested and an investigation launched.

Shawkat Harki, Rudaw’s reporter in Ankara, says that one of the suspects, aged under 18, was released after being confirmed “innocent” by police.

Many took to social media with the hashtag #BarisCakan in a show of solidarity with the stabbing victim.

Nihat Cakan, father of Baris, told state-owned media Anadolu Agency (AA) on Monday that his son was killed after one of his friends got into an argument with three other people.

“Ten minutes before the adhan [the Islamic call to prayer] was called, he performed ablution. He asked me when the prayer was scheduled and I told him that it was in ten minutes. A friend of his from the neighborhood called him, asking him to go out. I asked him not to go out, but he said that it would only take him two minutes,” said the victim’s father.

“He left and 10 to 15 minutes later his friend called me, asking if Baris had returned him. I told him that he had not. Then, he [his friend] added that they had fought [with some people] and he ran away, but had lost Baris,” added the father.

Kurds in Turkey have faced discrimination for their language and culture for decades, and their politicians, activists and journalists have been jailed on various charges, including on terror-related ones.

“There is a casual, every-day racism against Kurds in Turkey,” Human Rights Watch (HRW) Turkey Researcher Emma Sinclair-Webb told Rudaw English on Monday.

“The Turkish government's continual association of the HDP and Kurdish activists with terrorism has helped stoke racist sentiment,” she added.

“While the individual circumstances of this case have yet to be investigated, hateful attacks of this kind of course reflect a toxic political climate.”

https://www.rudaw.net/english/middleeas ... y/01062020
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