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Kurdish performance of Italian play banned in Istanbul

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Kurdish performance of Italian play banned in Istanbul

PostAuthor: Anthea » Wed Oct 14, 2020 7:33 pm

Kurdish performance banned in Istanbul

Turkish authorities banned the performance of a Kurdish-language rendition of a play at a state-owned theatre in Istanbul on Tuesday

Istanbul Municipality, held by the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), had authorized Beru (Faceless), performed by the Teatra Jiyana Nu (New Life Theatre) group, to open at the city’s theatre on Tuesday evening.

However, hours before the performance was scheduled to begin, the group was informed by the police that the play was banned because it “disrupts the public order.”

Nazmi Karaman, the director of Beru, says the reason the play was banned is the language it is being performed in.

“We believe that it was banned because it would be the first Kurdish play to be performed in a state theatre,” he told Rudaw English on Tuesday evening, referring specifically to Istanbul Municipality City Theatre, which has not had a play performed in the ethnic minority’s language in its over a century of existence.

“The content of the play has nothing to do with the ban. It criticizes capitalism,” he added.

Beru is a comedic play translated from "Trumpets and Raspberries,” a work by Italian satirist, playwright, and Nobel-prize-winner Dario Fo.

Karaman said that the performance of another of Fo’s plays in Kurdish was banned in Mardin province.

“This is not the first time that our plays are being banned but we did not give up. We continue performing our plays everywhere. This [the ban] will not have an impact on us. On the contrary, it will even make us more determined to work in our mother language.”

Kurds are allowed to speak their language in Turkey only in informal settings. The language was almost totally banned in the country before the Justice and Development Party (AKP) came to power in 2002. The party gave Kurds some limited cultural freedom, especially during a ceasefire between the government and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in 2015.

The pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) criticized the ban, saying it targets Kurdish language.

“Their animosity against our language and culture has no limits. However, their attacks against our language and culture compel us to speak and preserve Kurdish more. Our language is our honor and presence,” tweeted the party on Tuesday.

Eren Erdem, a CHP official, claimed that the play would be allowed to be performed “if it was not in Kurdish,” describing the move as racist in a tweet. ... /131020201
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Kurdish performance of Italian play banned in Istanbul



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