Turkey: Artists make joint statement and petition against oppression

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Turkey:
Artists make joint statement and petition against oppression

A signature campaign was launched by the Turkish Artists Initiative on 29 February 2012. Renowned Turkish musicians such as Edip Akbayram support the campaign, entitled ‘We disapprove’. BİA News Center’s Nilay Vardar wrote:



Istanbul – BİA News Center
1 March 2012, Thursday

The Artists Initiative expressed deep concern about the recent oppression of all opposition sections of society in their signature campaign entitled ‘We disapprove’.

The related meeting on Wednesday (29 February) at a theatre in Taksim/Istanbul was attended by renowned Turkish artists such as musician Edip Akybayram, theatre and cinema actor Levent Kırca, actor Rutkay Aziz, writer and human rights activist Eşber Yağmurdereli, theatre and cinema actress Arsen Gürzap, writer Metin Uca or poet and author Ataol Behramoğlu.

Actor Orhan Aydın introduced the campaign ‘We disapprove’ to the audience. He said that Turkish writers, poets, painters, sculptors, movie and theatre artists, caricaturists, photograph artists and all people of art were concerned about the future of the country.

“Universal values of enlightenment and the gains of our republic are being destroyed. Secular and scientific education is retrograding and takes on anachronistic characteristics. The quest of the young people for freedom and the working class’ search for their rights is being threatened by police truncheons and imprisonment.”

Censorship and Auto-Censorship
“Independent thinking has been put behind bars. Justice became the tool of injustice. The public’s right to information has been seized. The artists’ freedom of creativity is under the threat of censorship and auto-censorship to a level unmatched with any other period [in the past],” Aydın critcized.

Aydın announced that the artists would see it as the duty of the conscience of arts to be on the side of labour, democracy, justice, modernity and resistance to injustice and oppression.
After Aydın’s speech, Levent Kırca declared, “For a long time, people said ‘nothing will happen’ with regard to the government policies. Later on, they said ‘it’s too late’. Today is the right time.”
Painter Mehmet Güleryüz emphasized: “Together we have the power to speak up against the stumbling.”

Eşber Yağmurdereli reminded that 150,000 people were currently incarcerated in Turkish prisons and drew attention to the fact that the number of prisoners was lower even in the period around the 12 September military coup in 1980. Arsen Gürzap claimed that artists did not bow their heads during the military coup d’états on 12 March 1972 and 12 September 1980 and that they were not going to do so now.

Signatories

Altan Erkekli
Altan Gördüm
Alaattin Aksoy
Arif Keskiner
Ataol Behramoğlu
Atilla Dorsay
Aytaç Arman
Bedri Baykam
Bilgesu Erenus
Burhan Şeşen
Bülent Kayabaş
Cahit Berktay
Cezmi Baskın
Cihat Tamer
Cüneyt Türel
Edip Akbayram
Ekrem Kahraman
Emin İgüs
Ender Yiğit
Engin Ayça
Engin Uludağ
Erdal Erzincan
Erol Keskin
Ersan Uysal
Ferhan Şensoy
Fikret Otyam
Genco Erkal
Gülsen Tuncer
Haluk Çetin
Hayati Asılyazıcı
Hüseyin Haydar
İlhan İrem
İsa Çelik
Işık Yenersu
İsmail Hakkı Demircioğlu
Kemal Kocatürk
Küçük İskender
Kürşat Başar
Levent İnanır
Levent Kırca
Leyla Erbil
Mehmet Aksoy
Mehmet Güleryüz
Menderes Samancılar
Meral Çetinkaya
Mert Firat
Metin Boran
Metin Coşkun
Metin Demirtaş
Metin Uca
Mine Kırıkkanat
Mustafa Bilgin
Mustafa Köz
Mustafa Mutlu
Muzaffer Akyol
Müjdat Gezen
Nedim Saban
Nejat Yavaşoğulları
Nevzat Çelik
Nihat Behram
Nuri Dikeç
Nuri Kurtcebe
Onur Akın
Orhan Aydın
Orhan Kurtuldu
Osman Şahin
Osman Şengezer
Rutkay Aziz
Safîye Mine
Sali
Semir Aslanyürek
Suna Keskin
Sunay Akın
Tarık Akan
Tarık Günersel
Timur Selçuk
Tuğrul Keskin
Tuncer Cücenoğlu
Vedat Sakman
Yaman Tüzcet
Yavuz Top
Yıldız Kenter
Yılmaz Onay
Ümit Zileli
Üstün Akmen
Zeynep Oral
Özdemir İnce
 


Click to read more about music censorship in Turkey
 Turkey


Source

Bianet.org – 1 March 2011:

‘Artists Disapprove!’

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