Who Is Banu Özdemir? Turkey Jails Female Politician for Sharing Video of Bella Ciao Playing at Mosques

  • Mosques in İzmir's Konak, Karşıyaka, Çiğli and Buca districts played Bella Ciao

  • The Italian song of resistance is popular among the left-wing supporters in Turkey

  • A Turkish version of Bella Ciao was played at the mosques in Izmir

  • Bella Ciao became widely popular after it was used in Netflix series Money Heist

The Turkish government under the rule of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has arrested a female politician from the Opposition party after she shared a viral video of an incident involving 'Bella Ciao' song being blared out of mosques in Izmir.

Banu Ozdemir, the main opposition party's former deputy chairwoman for Izmir was arrested by the police over allegations that she was spreading hate and creating enmity by sharing the viral videos of the Bella Ciao song being blared by mosques in Izmir.

Banu Ozdemir

On May 20, in an incident that shocked the ruling Turkish government, hackers allegedly "sabotaged" the loudspeakers of several mosques in Izmir to broadcast the Turkish version of the song "Bella Ciao," local Turkish media reported.

The incident has sparked outrage among the ranks of the ruling government, who see this as a blasphemous act as the act desecrated the mosques during the holy Muslim month of Ramadan.

According to the Turkish news agency, Anadolu Agency Banu Ozdemir in her statement has denied any disrespect to religious values and said that she shared the videos because she wanted to draw attention to the incident.

Incidentally, on the day, the Italian resistance song Bella Ciao was blared from mosques in İzmir's Konak, Karşıyaka, Çiğli and Buca districts, the authorities first had claimed that there was no such incidence that had taken place, only to retract later after the videos were shared widely on Twitter.

"According to our initial analysis, unidentified people sabotaged our central adhan [call to prayer] system in an illegal way," the directorate said in a second statement, Hurriyet Daily reported.

Bella Ciao is a popular Italian folk song, which was popularized later by Italian left-wing partisans during World War II. In Turkey, the song is widely popular among left-wing groups. The song also became widely popular after it was used in the popular Netflix show Money Heist.

Banu Ozdemir

Supports Grows for CHP's Banu Özdemir

Following the arrest of CHP's Banu Özdemir, a massive support campaign was spearheaded on Twitter. On Twitter, thousands of supporters of CHP have shared the tag #BanuÖzdemirYalnızDeğildir ('Banu Özdemir is not alone').

The hashtag #BanuÖzdemirYalnızDeğildir ('Banu Özdemir is not alone') is now trending on Twitter.