Artists protest ruling AKP

Artists protest ruling AKP

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
A group of Turkish artists from various disciplines, called “Artists’ Initiative,” launched a petition campaign yesterday to protest against the government.

One of the initiative’s members, poet Ataol Behramoğlu, said the movement had a historic importance, as this was the second time in modern Turkish history that artists had prepared a common declaration to protest the government. 

“A mischievous and silent crime against democracy is being committed in Turkey. We oppose it,” said Behramoğlu.

The declaration, titled “We refuse,” was read out by actor Orhan Aydın. 

“We are anxious for Turkey’s future. Secular, scientific education is being targeted and is being transformed into an antiquated model. Turkey’s youth and the right demands of laborers are under police danger. The Justice System has become a tool of injustice,” read the declaration. 

Actor Orhan Aydın called on artists of the world for support, and said they should not be mistaken by the Turkish government’s “democracy lies.” 

Painter Bedri Baykam also criticized the government, saying: “The government is using religion as a tool, but religion is not an area for show.” 

Actor Tarık Akan, author Ayşe Kulin and singer İlhan İrem are among the 120 artists who signed the petition, which will remain open for more signatures.