Turkey: District governor’s office bans popular singer’s concert

Turkey: District governor’s office bans popular singer’s concert
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The series of concert bans across Turkey continued as district governor’s office in the southern town of Ceyhan banned the concert of Ilkay Akkaya citing security reasons

District governor’s office in Ceyhan, Turkey banned singer songwriter Ilkay Akkaya’s concert, an event organized by the town’s mayor, citing public order and security reasons. The mayor’s office said the governor gave permission for the concert on August 22, when the preparations began. 

"We apologize to the artist and all our citizens for the cancellation that occurred without our initiative," the district governor’s office said in a statement.

Artist Ilkay Akkaya said the reason behind the cancellation was a photo of her taken in a party building of pro-Kurdish HDP (People’s Democratic Party) during the 2014 election campaign. 

The ban came as government institutions across Turkey canceled festivals and concerts, igniting protests from the opposition parties, musicians, and masses of young people.

Kemal Kilicdaroglu, the chair of main opposition CHP (Republican People’s Party) warned the governors not to support the government in oppressive policies against art and music. 

“Do you think that you will forbid the young people to have fun, and we will all bow our heads? No, never,” he said on Twitter. 

Akkaya’s concert was the 16th event that was cancelled in the last four months. One of the biggest cancellations was the Zeytinli Fest, which gathered thousands of people every year in western Burhaniye for the last 17 years. 

Several others were also banned without any solid reason. 

Armenian-Spanish violinist Ara Malikian, singer songwriter Melek Mosso, Kurdish musician Mem Ararat and musician Niyazi Koyuncu all saw their concerts canceled. 

Apolas Lermi, who sings almost forgotten Pontic Greek songs, was targeted by a government media columnist who said that Lermi voiced support for the recognition of the Pontus Genocide, and Lermi’s two successive concerts were subsequently cancelled on 23 May.

Kurdish musician Aynur Doğan’s concert to be held in Turkey western seaport city of Derince on 20 May was cancelled by a local council, who said in a statement that the concert was not ‘appropriate’.