Yet another festival canceled in Turkey, this time in Eskişehir

The Eskişehir Governor’s Office has canceled the Octoberfest on the grounds of “public order and security.” The decision is the newest addition to the various music festivals recently targeted by Turkish authorities and Islamist figures.

Şenay Bilik Yıldırım / Gazete Duvar

The Central Anatolian province of Eskişehir’s governor’s office on Oct. 12 canceled a music festival that was planned to be held on Oct. 14 and 15.

The office argued they canceled the Octoberfest “in order to ensure peace, public order and public security in our city, to prevent crime, to protect fundamental rights and freedoms, the rights and freedoms of others and general public order.”

Following the announcement that the festival would be held, pro-government Eğitim Bir-Sen and Innovative (Yenilikçi) Union on Oct. 10 called for the cancellation of it.

After the decision of the governor’s office, Odunpazarı district Mayor Kazım Kurt, from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), said, “Another festival in Eskişehir has been banned by the governor's decision. The fact that Eskişehir's name is associated with festival bans every year casts a shadow over the brand value of our city. Do not upset the young people of this province because of the impositions of a few ignorant people."

CHP Eskişehir Lawmaker İbrahim Arslan said the move “clearly shows the government's interventionist approach towards lifestyle.”

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

(English version by Alperen Şen)