Turkish fans let down by Joan Baez remarks
ISTANBUL / İZMİRMany concerts and events across Turkey have been canceled in the aftermath of the bloody coup attempt on July 15, but it was famous folk singer Joan Baez’s remarks which hurt Turkish fans most.
“I’m not sure I’ve seen anything like the immense and unpredictable danger which presents itself in today’s Turkey,” Baez said on social media.
Regarding the cancelation of her concert, which was scheduled for Aug. 12 in the Aegean province of İzmir, Baez said:
“Of all the times I’ve gone into war zones, countries under dictatorships, or any other civil strife, I’m not sure I’ve seen anything like the immense and unpredictable danger which presents itself in today’s Turkey.”
“Never has the advice of all my risk-taking activist colleagues been so adamant that I do not put myself, and my band and crew, in the heightened danger of the nightmare which is sweeping Turkey.”
She also expressed sympathy for her Turkish fans.
“I’m singing a Turkish song on my current tour of Europe, Nazim Hikmet’s ‘Hiroshima child’ poem, and parts of Kardeş Türküler’s ‘Tencere Tava Havası.’ The response is huge, as the concern and sympathy for your country are great everywhere we go.”
Baez, a decades-long activist besides a singer, gathered reaction in Turkey with her statement.
Istanbul Jazz Festival Director Pelin Opçin particularly criticized Baez’s word choice by saying “unpredictable danger” and “nightmare.”
“I cannot understand why you would be so quick to decide that the country is in a war zone state and that you would use words such as ‘unpredictable danger’ and ‘nightmare.’ Yes, we are going through problems and we are not denying any of what had happened. Indeed, we are grieving, but we believe that we can bring peace and wisdom to our society for its betterment. You made us feel alone. You made us feel punished in a sort of isolation technique. You are a source of positive inspiration, so please give us courage. Don’t make assumptions about how bad our situation is, because it isn’t the way you think of it. I will dance in the Joss Stone concert because Stone is brave enough to give a concert in Istanbul,” she said.
The ongoing Istanbul Jazz Festival made major changes in its program due to cancelations but declared that they would continue the event.
Separately, the English rock band Muse canceled its concert scheduled to be held July 26 in Istanbul’s Küçükçiftlik Park.
According to a statement by ticket sales company Biletix, the concert planned to be performed on July 26 with the sponsorship of Istanbul Blue Night was cancelled.
The group was going to meet their fans in Turkey to introduce their new album “Drones.”
“We regret that in light of recent capricious events in Turkey, we have decided to cancel our concert,” the group said in statement.
“Apologies for any inconvenience this may cause. We look forward to seeing our Turkish fans in the future,” the statement read.
Another English rock band, Skunk Anansie, also canceled its Istanbul concert scheduled to be held on July 21.
“We greatly regret to inform you that in the light of recent extraordinary events in Turkey, we have had to cancel our concert,” the group said in a statement. “It has been five years since we last visited your wonderful country. We will be back. Our hearts are with you. Stay with love and music.”