Turkish court halts concert ban decision of governor's office

A Turkish court has halted the Mersin governor’s decision to ban singer İlkay Akkaya’s concert after the artist was targeted by some pro-government newspapers.

Duvar English

A Mersin court has halted the governor's office's cancellation decision for singer İlker Akkaya's concert after the artist was targeted by some pro-government newspapers.

The concert organizers said after the court’s decision that they notified the Mersin governor's office exactly 65 days before the concert was planned to be held on Oct.17. 

"The governorship banned the concert three days before it would happen. The fact that the governor's decision was made a short time before our concert, meant that even our opportunity to apply to the court and cancel the ban decision was taken from us. However, on the same day we learned about the ban, we applied to the court and requested a stay of execution,” the organizers said.

“The court ruled that the state should not interfere with the event and that it was responsible for taking the necessary measures to ensure that the event could be held in a safe environment. It has been especially emphasized that the dangers that are claimed in the governor’s decision were abstract and hypothetical. Although we couldn't hold our concert in Mersin yesterday, we see this decision of the Court as an important achievement in these days when concert bans all over the country have reached their peak,” they further added.

Previously, several governors canceled the concerts of Akkaya, citing “general security and public order” reasons and on the allegation that “some of the singers in the artist’s team engaged in the activities praising the PKK/KCK terror organization’s ringleader.”

In recent months, governor’s offices throughout Turkey have canceled many concerts on the grounds of “national and spiritual sensitivities” after the organizations or singers themselves were targeted by especially conservative and Islamist groups on social media.

After the rise in cancellations, Culture and Tourism Minister Mehmet Nuri Ersoy has advised citizens to apply to the judiciary if they are not happy.