Turkish rapper, Murda jailed for 4 years over ‘drug use’ lyrics

An Istanbul court on Tuesday sentenced rapper Murda to more than four years in jail “for encouraging drug use” in his songs.

Rapper-Murda (PMNews)

However, his lawyer, Ümit Gürkal Egemen, told dpa that the verdict was not final.

Egemen said the 38-year-old rapper, a Dutch citizen and currently in the Netherlands, had denied the allegations on phone, adding he had appealed against the “unjust” verdict.

The lawyer added that “Murda only acted within the scope of freedom of expression. The accusations refer to three of the rapper’s songs, one of them titled “Eh Baba” and viewed more than 116 million times on YouTube.

“I rolled a joint. Man, it shook me,” reads a lyric from the song.

Murda, whose real name is Mehmet Önder Doğan and popular in Turkey, mainly sings in Turkish.

The rapper was detained briefly in October at Istanbul’s Sabiha Gokcen Airport “for promoting drug use” in his lyrics.

Turkey recently targeted rappers, some of whom known for their remarks critical of the government and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

In 2018, famous Turkish rapper Ezhel was briefly arrested for publicly promoting drug use in his lyrics before he was acquitted shortly after.

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