German-Kurdish singer barred from leaving Turkey after release from jail

According to a relative of singer Hozan Cane, Turkish authorities have barred her from leaving the country pending a court hearing.

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The 49-year-old Kurdish singer, Saide Inac, better known by her stage name Hozan Cane, was released from a Turkish prison Wednesday night. However, the authorities are not allowing her to leave the country pending a court hearing.

"The imprisonment is over. In the days of freedom, we will continue to sing our songs together. Thank you to everyone who supported me," Inac wrote on her Facebook account in German on October 2. She is a dual German-Turkish national.

The artist's nephew, Agit Keser, told Kurdistan 24 on Thursday that even though she was released, Inac is not allowed to leave Turkey pending a hearing.

"The judge didn't attend the hearing (on Sunday) and postponed the hearing until January 21."

A Turkish court sentenced Inac to six years and three months in jail over charges of "being a member in a terrorist organization" in November 2018.

In June 2020, the Turkish Supreme Court overturned terrorism charges against the singer, but her trial is still ongoing.

Read more: Turkish Supreme Court overturns sentence for German-Kurdish singer Hozan Cane

Cane sought asylum in Germany at the height of the Turkish-Kurdish conflict in the 1990s. Her arrest has led to many calls by politicians in Germany for her release.

Turkish police arrested her in Edirne province on June 23, 2018, with accusations of membership in the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) based on her songs, activities, and pictures on social media.

She visited Turkey to sing at rallies for the opposition, pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), in the run-up to the Turkish general and presidential elections held on June 24, 2018.

The German-Kurdish association, the Kurdish Community in Germany (KGD), said in a statement that Inac is barred from international travel, as has been the case with other German Kurdish citizens in Turkey.

Another member of the Kurdish Community in Germany, Nebahat Yildirim, was arrested in Turkey last year.

Gönül Örs, Cane's daughter, was also arrested on September 10, 2019, after visiting her mother, on similar, terrorism-related charges. Her trial is also still ongoing, and she is not allowed to leave the country.

"Hozan Canê's daughter Dilan Örs is also not allowed to leave Turkey. It is important that the federal (German) government advocates (with the Turkish government) to allow Hozan Canê and her daughter, as well as Nebehat Yildirim from Hamburg, Bekir Topgider from Cologne, and numerous other prisoners to leave (Turkey)," the KGD concluded.

Frank Schwabe, the human rights spokesman for the Social Democrats (SPD) parliamentary group, who has advocated for her release in Germany, vowed to continue campaigning for Cane's repatriation, the Deutsche Welle reported.

"Hozan Cane is no longer in prison. But she is not allowed to leave Turkey yet," Schwabe tweeted, adding that he will "continue to fight for her to be back in Germany along with her daughter Gönül Örs."

Editing by Khrush Najari