Turkish court suspends governor's decision to ban music festival over 'alcohol consumption'

The Adana Governor's Office on Oct. 11 canceled the Çukurova Rock Festival one day before its beginning on the basis of "alcohol consumption" and "security." On Oct. 12, an Adana court has ordered a stay of execution of the decision, allowing participants over the age of 18 to attend the festival.

Duvar English

An Adana court on Oct. 12 ordered a stay of execution to the decision of the Adana Governor’s Office, which canceled the Çukurova Rock Festival.

The Governor’s Office issued a statement to the organizer on Oct. 11, one day before the festival began, banning it because “alcohol-related crimes like sexual assault, injury, and theft were likely to occur,” according to reporting by Mehmet Serbes from the daily Sözcü. 

The festival was planned to be held between Oct. 12 and 15.

Milyon (Million) Production, the organizer of the Çukurova Rock Festival alongside many music festivals around Turkey, issued a statement about the last-minute ban. The organizer company said that the reasons for cancellation put forth by the Governor’s Office were “baseless.” 

The organizer questioned the cancellation of this specific event, pointing to the various food and film festivals that took or planned to take place in Adana. 

The company added that it had initially reapplied to the governor’s office with an amended “alcohol-free” festival plan that was seen as acceptable by the Adana police department. 

In another statement late on Oct. 12, the organizer announced that an Adana court ordered a stay of execution of the Governor's Office's decision, but participants under the age of 18 will not be allowed into the area.

The Çukurova Rock Festival is the newest addition to the various music festivals recently targeted by Turkish authorities. The 7th Nilüfer Fest in Bursa was canceled by its organizers after the Governor’s office banned alcohol sales and camping related to the festival, and the 4th Kuzey Fest (Northern Fest) in Sinop was canceled as the Governor’s Office found it “inappropriate.”

Many of the country's major festivals have been targeted by Islamists and pro-government figures, and banned by the authorities in recent years.