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Turkey's crisis in the arts under an authoritarian regime...

February 24, 2017 10:37:11 AM IST
MTG editorial

The situation is getting worse in Turkey as the country's President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan gets more and more iron-fisted. Below is a statement from Ragıp Ertuğrul, the president of the Turkish Section of the International Association of Theatre Critics (IATC):

Something is Rotten in the Turkish Republic

In Turkey, academicians who sign for social peace continue to be expelled from their institutions with a state of emergency decree. All prestigious professors of the Theatre Department at Ankara University Faculty of Language, History and Geography, were also expelled after the last expulsions. The academics, including the members of the IATC (International Association of Theatre Critics) of Turkish Section, were unexpectedly removed from their duties by ignoring their professional and long-lasting studies, and all their civil. With this insensitive decision, not only undergraduate students’ but also Masters and PhD students’ education is now suspended. Our greatest hope is that our distinguished professors would start to work at their universities by social pressure and law.

Within all these chaos in the higher education, Mujdat Gezen Art Centre which was founded by a private initiative and educated hundreds of actors/actresses, was arsoned after targetting by a media channel broadcasting with extremeright wing ideals Mujdat Gezen Art Center, founded by Mujdat Gezen, who is one of the greatest actors and directors of Turkish Theatre and known for his Kemalist and secular ideals, the Art and Conservatoire Centre was damaged tragically. Mr. Gezen always supported his center with great effort. Heard the news, hundreds of actors, actresses, directors, audiences and students who took part in any work of the centre have flocked to Mujdat Gezen Art Center and started to stand guard outside.

We, as the Theatre Critics Association of Turkey, condemn this discriminatory and otherizing attitude. We state that we believe in the resistance of Turkey’s intellectuals, academicians and artists together. We will continue to put effort to restore the social morality and the freethought by cultivating arts.




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