Turkish Interior Minister: Bans on concerts related to "protection of life styles"
Turkish Interior Minister replied to a parliamentary question about allegations about bans on public Kurdish music performances, saying that bans by governors are issued in protection of social life styles.
Sezgin Tanrikulu, deputy for the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) had earlier submitted a parliamentary question in the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TBMM) addressing minister Suleyman Soylu. Tanrikulu asked whether or not a concert by Kurdish opera singer Pervin Chakar was banned because she had Kurdish songs in her repertoire.
Soylu responded on Thursday:
"Governors take necessary measures to prevent crime, and to protect public order and security (...) The governor is authorized to issue a ban [on a public event] for a period of up to 15 days when he is faced with serious indications that it may disrupt public order and security as to interfere with the normal flow of society."
He further said:
"Such decision are made not to interfere with life styles, but on the contrary to protect the life styles and security of our citizens."
CHP deputy Tanrikulu said upon Soylu's response that it had nothing to do with his question, adding:
"This kind of response aims to avoid an official acknowledgment that concerts and stage plays in Kurdish have actually been banned, and it is actually an indirect confession that the Kurdish language is oppressed."
Pervin Chakar had asked after having faced difficulties in finding an available concert hall in mid May:
"We are making every effort to find a concert hall. Is it because we have Kurdish songs in the repertoire that you reject us after you've seen the repertoire?"
Chakar, who currently lives in Germany, had her first music education in a fine arts high school in Turkey's Kurdish-majority city of Diyarbakir, where she also took cello lessons.