Award-winning opera singer barred from taking stage at university over Kurdish songs

The award-winning Kurdish soprano Pervin Chakar has announced that she had applied to give a concert at Turkey's Mardin Artuklu University, but her request was rejected over the existence of Kurdish songs in her repertoire.

Duvar English

Pervin Chakar, one of the few Kurdish opera singers to be awarded various international prizes, has been barred from taking the stage at Turkey's Mardin Artuklu University for including Kurdish songs in her repertoire.

Chakar made the announcement on Twitter on July 31. “In May, we wrote a petition to Mardin Artuklu University's concert hall to give a concert. The rector's attitude was quite positive. They have later asked for my repertoire. They have not allowed me to give a concert since I have Kurdish songs in my repertoire. I am grieving for not being able to give a concert in my city,” said Chakar, who is originally from Turkey's southeastern province of Mardin.

Chakar, 41, has been living in Baden-Baden, Germany for the last six years. “The languages in an artist's repertoire cannot be questioned. This is crime humanity,” she also wrote.

Following this post, ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP)'s Central Executive Committee (MYK) member Abdurrahman Kurt weighed in, saying that Mardin Artuklu University had "defied" them.

“Unfortunately, Ms. Pervin, this was an attitude [of the university] that we were not expecting at all; we also got surprised and sad. Despite all of our effort, we have faced a defiance, but still, we will overcome them. Do not get upset,” Kurt wrote on Twitter.