Turkey: artists facing censorship

With a year to go before parliamentary and presidential elections, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his ruling AK party have caused a new wave of outrage - both in and outside Turkey. Cultural events are being cancelled in municipalities where the AK Party is in power because the artists sing in Kurdish or supposedly incite immoral behaviour. Last week alone, several concerts were banned. Commentators are furious.

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Independent Türkçe (TR) /

Counterrevolution from the presidential palace

With the wave of censorship in the cultural sphere, the "republic" is disappearing from the Republic of Turkey, Independent Türkçe complains:

“They're poking their noses into universities, science, football, entertainment, festivals, parks, and TV series - into every conceivable public space, destroying them all and leaving not even the tiniest space in which we can enjoy ourselves and breathe. ... A failed life! All of this points to one reality: counterrevolution. A de facto situation has been created in which civil law has been abolished and the will of the people has been replaced by the will of the palace. This is the very opposite of a 'republic'. The 'republic' is disappearing.”

Habertürk (TR) /

Morality as a pretext

Mosso's performances weren't cancelled because of her supposed immorality, Habertürk comments:

“They weren't cancelled because she posed naked for men's magazines or did things that contradicted conservative morality. Because if she'd done all those things it wouldn't have been a problem. ... But these insincere, hypocritical so-called conservatives took issue with Mosso's endorsement of the Istanbul Convention, which aims to protect women from violence and preserve their dignity, and with her stance on women's rights.”

T24 (TR) /

Social dynamite

The government should be careful with such decisions, T24 warns:

“Those who govern the country - or who intend to govern it - must calculate the impact bans that affect vulnerable groups can have on social life. ... Such bans can have far more problematic consequences. So we need to recognise that our real concern consists in implementing rules that make it possible for us to coexist.”