Turkey: Actors and actresses arrested during raids against a political party

22 January 2021
Image: Yenikapı Theatre’s logo / Yenikapı Tiyatrosu on Facebook


18 January 2021: Five actors and actresses from the Yenikapı Theatre were released on bail after their detention on 14 January connected with the investigation conducted by İzmir Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office against the Socialist Party of the Oppressed (ESP), reported Bianet.

According to Evrensel, police raided the Yenikapı Theatre as a part of wider arrests of over 40 ESP members and administrators in Ankara, İzmir, Diyarbakır and nine other provinces.

Arrested actors and actresses Nazlı Masatçı, Medine Çam, Yunus Kara, Mehmet Küçükgünaydın and Ensar Albağlar, are members of the Yenikapı Theatre, which was shut down in December 2016 under decree during the state of emergency after the coup attempt that took place that year.

Nazlı Masatçı, one of the arrested actresses, was tried on charges of making “terrorist organisation propaganda” in 2019 over her satirist performance in the street play V for Vendetta in 2015. Masatçı was imprisoned from 31 January 2019 until her release on probation on 25 June 2019.

Yenikapı Theatre has been known for its aim to “ensure solidarity” of artists by organising workshops and performances.

According to Freemuse’s State of Artistic Freedom 2020 report, the government was the primary violator of Turkey’s artistic freedom in 2019. 



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