Turkish police on Wednesday arrested Syrian singer Omar Suleiman, who won international fame for mixing electronic music with Syrian traditional music, on charges of belonging to a “terrorist organization”.
And the French press agency quoted his agent – who asked not to be named – confirming the news of the arrest in the Şanlıurfa border province with Syria, and that he would be released within hours.
The Turkish newspaper “Yeni Şafak” and Dogan News Agency reported on Wednesday that Suleiman is accused of “belonging to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party and the terrorist People’s Protection Units.”
Ankara considers the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) an offshoot of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which is classified as a “terrorist” by Turkey, the European Union and the United States.
Omar Suleiman’s songs, which garnered 100 million views on YouTube, opened for him the doors of major international festivals, where he sings in Arabic and Kurdish.
Suleiman, who started his career by singing at wedding parties in Syria, appears in music videos wearing a red and white keffiyeh and black sunglasses.
The singer left Syria after the outbreak of the war in 2011 to settle in Turkey, where he opened a bakery.