Little space for music in Turkey: another banned event

Little space for music in Turkey: another banned event

There is a musical curfew at midnight. And musical events are always forbidden, now it has arrived at Zeytinli Rock Festival.

In Turkey, another ban on a music festival caused many protests. The Zeytinli Rock Festival was not approved “due to intense complaints and lawsuits from citizens”, the prefecture of the western Turkish municipality of Burhaniye confirmed on Thursday. Critics see the decision as a renewed gesture of suppression of the country’s creative scene by the conservative Islamist AKP party.

In recent months, music events in particular have been banned again and again. Several university celebrations have also been banned or converted to non-alcoholic events. And a musical midnight curfew, which was originally introduced as part of the Corona measures, is almost the only measure that hasn’t been lifted so far.

In May, 57 Turkish bar associations wrote a joint protest against the ban on music and other creative events. Restrictions and prohibitions became systematic, they argued.

The most famous bands in the country would have played

The Zeytinli Rock festival took place for the first time in 2005 and was supposed to take place this year from August 17th to 21st with around 70 artists – including the most famous bands in the country. On Wednesday, Turkish media published a corresponding ban. Initially, it was unclear whether the decision was final.

Referring to the upcoming parliamentary and presidential elections of 2023, Mor ve Ă–tesi, one of Turkey’s best-known rock bands, tweeted: “This summer will be the last summer of bans. Let’s sing together, rip and throw away this straitjacket . Music cannot be banned.”