Turkish main opposition slams governors for banning concerts

Turkey’s main opposition CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has called on governors to serve “the state,” instead of the government, in the face of several musical festival cancellations in recent months. “Million Fest Fethiye,” which is among the biggest music festivals in Turkey, was banned with a decision announced on Aug. 23.

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Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has slammed governors for banning concerts throughout the country, calling on them “to be the governors of the state.”

“I warn the governors. Do you think that you will ban the youth from having fun, as you wish, and we will all bow to that? No such thing. If you continue to ban concerts, you will find millions in front of you. Do not be sycophants, be the governors of the state. Of the state!” Kılıçdaoğlu said in a tweet on Aug. 23.

The governor’s office of the Aegean province of Muğla on Aug. 23 announced that “Million Fest Fethiye,” which is among the biggest music festivals in Turkey, was cancelled this year. Some 16 famous artists were planning to attend the music festival.

The decision caused a big uproar on social media, with several people saying that it had a political nature. 

On Aug. 24, the Muğla Governor’s Office released the reason behind the ban decision, saying that it was taken by the Fethiye District Governor’s Office over ecological concerns.

“After the organization (music festival) was analyzed, it has been seen that there were arrangements for tents, camping sites and caravan sites, and that as a result of these arrangements, the high dense human traffic as well as affects of noise and light might damage the ecological balance,” read the statement by the Fethiye District Governor’s Office.

Earlier this month, the Zeytinli Rock Festival was cancelled by the Burhaniye District Governor’s Office on the Aegean coast on the grounds of “public security.”