Roma band members complain against discrimination in municipality
A group of Roma people who work in a municipal band in the Aegean province of Muğla have complained to the provincial human rights board about facing discrimination. DHA PhotoA group of Roma people who work in a municipal band in the Aegean province of Muğla have complained to the provincial human rights board about being discriminated against in the municipality.
A group of 14 Roma people who are members of Muğla municipality band have complained to Muğla’s human rights board against Recep Altınok, the head of the culture and social affairs department in Muğla.
They claimed that Altınok has made racial remarks toward the band members who are of Romani descent.
Muğla’s Musicians Association head Hakan Çelebi said the 14 band members are registered as cleaners by the municipality and that they are paid lower wages compared to their fellow colleagues.
“Altınok treats musicians differently, whether they have received a musical education or not. He despises some of them. He makes racist statements against Roma people. We will file a criminal complaint against him if the municipality does not take action,” said Çelebi.
He also criticized Altınok for allegedly intervening into the private lives of the band members.
Altınok, however, denied the claims against his treatment toward the band members.
The Justice and Development Party (AKP) Muğla Deputy Yüksel Özden said discrimination against Roma people is not acceptable.
“We cannot bear discrimination against the Roma people. [They] were discriminated against in France a few years ago. Now it is saddening to see they are being discriminated in Turkey. I will take this issue to the agenda of the Parliamentary Human Rights Commission,” said Özden.