Artists against repression
02 March 2012
Independent thinking has been put behind bars. Justice became the tool of injustice, say artists
The Artists Initiative has launched a campaign named "We disapprove". The campaign of signature aims to express artists' concern with the ongoing repression of different sections of society, including artists. Ultimately, said actor Orhan Aydın, explaining the campaign in a public meeting in Istanbul, "We are worried with the future of this country " and added: "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's search for their rights is being threatened by police truncheons and imprisonment".
The meeting in 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.
Aydın also said that "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]".
Levent Kırca told the audience that "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".
Reporting on the meeting Bianet quoted 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.
ANF / ISTANBUL
ANF NEWS AGENCY