Artists protest draft law in Turkish Parliament with Mozart

Artists protest draft law in Turkish Parliament with Mozart

Artists protest draft law in Turkish Parliament with Mozart

The musicians performed a short Mozart piece in protest at a proposed draft law. AA photo

A group of artists, led by world-famous conductor Gürer Aykal, performed a short Mozart concert at Parliament, in protest at a draft law that they claim will close down current state art institutions.

After holding a press conference to raise their concerns about the bill, Aykal led the group in performing Mozart’s “Divertimento in F Major.”

Before the performance, he said artists were "worried." “They have been successful in the fields of opera, the orchestra and ballet in countries across the world. They are worried now. They can’t sleep comfortably at night. Families are not happy,” Aykal said at the press conference, where he and his colleagues were hosted by main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Ankara deputy Emine Ülker Tarhan.

“They have been hearing that a law is being drafted at the ministry. They do not know [what it is about], but they have heard. We have been [left in the dark],” he said.

“Yes, there may be points that need to be corrected. But let’s correct these together. Let artists join this work, too,” Aykal said, adding that the goal of establishing symphony orchestras in 40 Turkish provinces had been unsuccessful up to now.

Artists contend that the draft law, affecting the Turkish Art Institution (TÜSAK), would result in the closure of 55 state institutions and turn artists into unqualified or subcontracted workers. It would also give authority to 11 people to be appointed to the TÜSAK by the Cabinet, which would have added power to make wide-ranging decisions affecting national arts institutions.