Saturday, March 25, 2017

Turkish Artist Zehra Doğan Sentenced to Prison for Painting of Kurdish Town Attack

Doğan has been given a sentence of 2 years and 10 months by a Turkish court. Perwana Nazif, 
Zehra Doğan. Courtesy the Voice Project.

The Turkish-Kurdish painter and journalist Zehra Doğan has been sentenced to 2 years, nine months, and 22 days in prison for creating a painting which depicted the destruction caused by Turkish security forces in the Nusaybin district of Mardin province, a Kurdish region in Turkey.

According to Turkish daily Cumhuriyet, the Mardin Second High Criminal Court in Turkey handed down the sentence because she drew Turkish flags on buildings destroyed by Turkish forces. However, according to Artforum, the court expressed that Doğan’s sharing of the image of her work, featuring current military operations, was the cause for her prison sentence.
Work by Zehra Doğan. Courtesy the Voice Project.
“I was given two years and 10 months [jail time] only because I painted Turkish flags on destroyed buildings. However, [the Turkish government] caused this. I only painted it,” Doğan posted in a now-deleted tweet as reported by online Turkish journalism and human rights platform Turkey Purge.
According to the Art Newspaperauthorities arrested Doğan at a cafe late July, claiming that her artworks proved that she was connected to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which is considered a terrorist organization by the Turkish government.
“Art and paintings can never be used in such a way,” said Doğan’s lawyer, Asli Pasinli, according to Voice Projectan international organization committed to freedom of expression and creative activism. “This is an attack on art and artistic expression.”

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