250 Turkish artists, writers to vote ‘No’ in referendum
ISTANBULSome 250 artists and writers have announced that they will vote “No” in the April 16 referendum on whether to shift the current parliamentary system to an executive presidency.
Actors, actresses, writers, directors, photographers, poets, musicians, dancers and sculptors are among the 250 people who signed a joint statement regarding the referendum.
The group, which held a press meeting on April 6, referred to lines written by legendary Turkish poet Nazım Hikmet, vowing to vote “No” in order “to live like a tree, alone and free and like a forest in brotherhood.”
“We are sure that ‘No’ votes will prevail. What I’m worried about is the situation after ‘No.’ I don’t think we have the luxury to celebrate on April 17. There is no situation to celebrate. We need to continue the ‘No’ fight. Our business won’t end on April 16,” actor Rutkay Aziz said at the meeting held in Istanbul’s Taksim area.
Actress and writer Pelin Batu said she had lied to her mother when asked where she was going.
“Before I came here I lied to my mother. To have to say that, my eyes are filled with tears and I’m very sad. I told her that I was going to a photocopying shop to print my poems, because she is afraid for me. She is afraid I will end up in jail. She fears her daughter will be shot on the street. I’m saying ‘No’ because of the fact that so many mothers are afraid like this,” Batu added.
Musician Edip Akbayram said he rejected the proposed constitution in the name of a “democratic Turkey.”
“I’ve been trying to do things on behalf of art for 50 years in this country. For a modern, democratic, universal Turkey where we all can live in brotherhood, I will vote ‘No,’” Akbayram said.
“We are revolting today. We will carry out a second War of Independence. I believe ‘no’ votes will rise and we will win,” said actress Gülriz Sururi.