Turkey: Syrian musician Omar Souleyman released

(ANSA-AFP) – ISTANBUL, NOV 19 – Syrian musician Omar Souleyman arrested Wednesday on charges of “terrorist propaganda” in favor of the Kurdish armed group PKK has been released. The artist’s lawyer Resit Tuna told AFP, stating that Souleyman was released from prison at 10:00 local time while the prefecture of Sanliurfa, where the musician was arrested, has not yet confirmed his release. After his capture, yesterday Omar Souleyman was interrogated and then transferred to a refugee camp near the border with Syria by order of the prefect who had asked for his deportation. Originally from northern Syria, Omar Souleyman left the country after the civil war began in 2011 to move to Turkey where he built a successful musical career. After starting as a part time singer for wedding parties in Syria in the 90s, Souleyman has come to perform in the most important international festivals offering a blend of traditional Syrian sounds and electronic music. Fame led him to collaborate with important names on the music scene such as Icelandic Bjork. Charged with “terrorist propaganda”, the artist was captured Wednesday in a raid by counter-terrorism teams in Sanliurfa, a city in southeastern Turkey where he owns a bakery. According to Turkish media, the accusations are based on statements in favor of the leader of the PKK Abdullah Ocalan that Omar Souleyman would have released in the past in Germany. (ANSA-AFP).

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