Musician Emin İgüs responses gov't-imposed bans: 'Songs are our line of resistance'

Turkey's state broadcaster TRT banned 208 songs for "unethical contents", however, there are banned songs composed by communist and left-wing musicians including Emin İgüs who told soL "songs are our line of resistance"
Monday, 05 March 2018 20:48

The Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT), the state-run broadcaster, banned the broadcast of hundreds of songs in 2016, including a song by Turkish communist musician Emin İgüs.

The list of banned songs was revealed after lawmaker Atilla Sertel from the parliamentary main opposition Republican People’s Party appealed for the announcement of banned songs. The Turkish government imposed a ban on 208 songs on the grounds that they had "unethical" contents.

TRT said that songs had been blacklisted in a 2016 move for promoting the consumption of tobacco or alcohol, setting a bad example to children or promoting "terror propaganda". 

Taking to soL News, Emin İgüs has said that he is against all such prohibitions. "The simplest response I could have against the bans would be to perform our songs relentlessly and hopefully everywhere. It is not surprising today that this repressive mindset fights with the songs of fellow citizens as in the past," İgüs said.

İgüs has added that this dark mindset tries to trivialize such songs about the ignored people's problems, loves, happiness, sorrows, resistance and rebellion.

"We are living in a time and realm where death and murder are sacralised, all sort of lies and falsehoods become legitimate, a place where is full of sexual abuse, harassment and rape, where 5 or 6 workers lost their lives every day, where some dare to say that 8-year-old girls can marry as femicide cannot be stopped in the absence of rights, law and justice," İgüs continued in an attempt to show that the country’s existing situation is in parallel with the TRT’s bans on songs.

Stating that songs and entire artistic dynamics and productions are our lines of resistance, İgüs has underlined, "I don’t see any other way than raising voice altogether, uniting and rising the number of people who are against this system," for good days, peaceful life, freedom and justice.

Among many other songs, TRT also banned a song by Turkish left-wing pianist Yiğit Özatalay who is known with his live piano recital in İstanbul's Taksim Square in June 2013 when millions of anti-government protestors launched a countywide resistance. 

Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ rejected accusations of censorship, saying it was normal practice and lashing out at those who he said had misrepresented the channel's actions.

"It is very immoral to present something to the public that TRT does ever year -- fulfilling its legal duties -- as if it were an illegal form of censorship," Bozdağ said.

The broadcaster that is funded with public taxes is widely criticized for its Islamist coverage as a biased propaganda machine of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his Justice and Development Party government.

The list of tracks blacklisted by TRT includes Turkish and Kurdish songs and some of Turkish pop music's singers.