Turkey Asks Azerbaijan to Explain Mistreatment of Armenian Musician

ANKARA (Associated Press)–Turkey has asked its close ally Azerbaijan for information on the alleged mistreatment and expelling of a Turkish musician who is of Armenian descent, a Foreign Ministry official said Tuesday. Murat Bedikyan–a pianist with Eurovision song contest winner Sertap Erener’s band–accused officials in Azerbaijan of mistreating him and unfairly ousting him from the country on arrival for a concert Dec. 19, according to the Anatolia news agency. Bedikyan was forced to return to Istanbul and could not join his band. He insisted he was singled out and mistreated despite his Turkish citizenship, because he is a member of Turkey’s minority Armenian community. Turkey formally requested information on Bedikyan’s allegations from Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry, according to a Turkish Foreign Ministry official, speaking on condition of anonymity because of rules that bar civil servants from speaking to journalists without prior authorization. A similar request had been made with the Azeri Embassy in Ankara, the official said.

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