Alongside the critical talks with the jailed leader of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), the government is planning a special concert featuring Turkey’s famous “little sparrow” pop queen, Sezen Aksu, and the iconic Kurdish singer Şivan Perwer, in an attempt to boost the ongoing peace process, daily Radikal reported March 2.
The concert may take place in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır, or Arbil in northern Iraq, on March 21, the date of Nevruz, which is an important holiday for the Kurdish people. Nevruz is reportedly the day that PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan intends to make his call for a truce.
Aksu and Perwer are planned to take the stage before an audience of thousands of people, to sing songs in both Turkish and Kurdish. The preference in Ankara is to organize the concert in Diyarbakır, however Perwer’s refusal to come back to Turkey until a solution to the Kurdish issue is found strengthens the Arbil alternative.
According to Radikal, the project is still in its early phases, however the report points out that Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç, who is set to travel to Germany next week, is scheduled to meet Perwer in his country of exile. It is underlined that there is a strong expectation in Ankara that the Kurdish artist, who is originally from Şanlıurfa, will not refuse an idea that is personally conveyed by Arınç.
Perwer is also a personality who had strained relations with the PKK. After years of intense support, Perwer took a more critical stance against the organization and was threatened as a result. He earned the praise of many in Turkey when he slammed PKK sympathizers during a concert in Holland in 2011, telling his audience to “watch [their] children if [they] don’t want them to attack [their] own people and become clowns” like PKK militants.
It is not known if Sezen Aksu has yet been told about the proposal, or if she is likely to accept. In fact, Perwer criticized Aksu a few years ago for not responding to a peace concert proposal at that time. In the event that Aksu turns down the project, the second alternative could be the ‘megastar’ Tarkan, according to the report.