Arts and culture scene gathers for Gezi Park in Turkey

Arts and culture scene gathers for Gezi Park in Turkey

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Arts and culture scene gathers for Gezi Park in Turkey

Many events, concerts and art gallery openings have been canceled and postponed due to the protests at Istanbul’s Gezi Park.

The ongoing clashes at Istanbul’s Gezi Park have affected the arts and culture scene in Turkey, with many events, concerts and art gallery openings canceled or postponed. The arts and culture world is upset about the Gezi Park events and lots of TV series actors have gathered and walked to Taksim Square while artists also took part in the Gezi Park clashes and protests.

Festivals set to happen over the weekend have been canceled. Istanbul International Arts and Culture Festival, also known as Istancool, had been scheduled to take place between June 6 and 9 but was postponed. The Istanbukl74 art gallery has issued a written statement saying, “The Istanbul International Arts and Culture Festival has been postponed due to the sensitivity of the current situation. Further information and the new dates will be announced soon.”

This is not the only cancellation that Istanbul has seen.

The 41st Istanbul Music Festival opening event at the Lütfi Kırdar International Convention and Exhibition Center has been canceled. “We feel very sorry about the incidents that broke out in Taksim’s Gezi Park and developed. In such a period, during which social sensibility is very high, we don’t find it right to hold the 41st Istanbul Music Festival opening events, and this is why we have canceled the opening ceremony and postponed the opening concert to a future date. The other concerts will continue as planned,” said Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV) in a written statement.

The Electronica Festival, which was expected to take place over the weekend, has also been canceled due to the Gezi Park clashes. Tiesto, one of the long awaited performances of summer, has also been postponed.

All the bars in Taksim and everywhere in Istanbul have also canceled their DJ or live performances.

Art gallery openings canceled

Many art galleries in Istanbul, mostly located in the Taksim area, have canceled their openings.

Galerist Art Gallery in Pera canceled its Kendell Geers exhibition opening. Geers also added a note for the cancellation. “As a former anti-Apartheid activist who never gave up the fight to leave the world a better place for future generations, and with the curiosity of a contemporary artist, I found myself at the forefront of the protests upon my arrival in Istanbul. I still believe that art will change the world! Dedicate my exhibition ‘Stealing Fire from Heaven’ to the streets of Istanbul, to the people who are revolting for a better future, and to the trees and plants in the little park that await to be rescued as living monuments and reminders of commitment to life. I dedicate my exhibition to those who still believe and don’t give up hope.”

Art Sümer also canceled its new opening. Sanatorium art gallery canceled an opening, stating, “Due to the violent happenings in our city, Burcu Aksoy’s ‘00:00’ exhibition is postponed to June 11, 2013. The opening will be at 6:30 p.m. as usual.

“Wishing this violence stops immediately we hope people who are subjected to physical and psychological violence recover soon.”

Rampa Art Gallery has canceled the opening of Hatice Güleryüz’s exhibition. “We announce our solidarity with the ongoing peaceful protests and express our wish to stop the violence in the clashes.”

The protests started out as a small-scale rally against the demolition of a park in Taksim but have turned into an all-out rally against the rule of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government. The protesters were also given impetus by the AKP government’s latest restrictions on alcohol, but the focus of the protest has now shifted to demands calling on the government to resign. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan gave a signal of compromise over demands against the Taksim urbanization project on June 1.

While some call the protests “OccupyTaksim” and “Occupygezipark,” protests on the iconic İstiklal Avenue have turned into a political movement that aims to call on the government to resign, with the turnout at the protests becoming even bigger. C.A.M Art Gallery has decided to carry its opening on June 6 to Taksim Gezi Park. The opening of the exhibition titled ‘START! Art within Reach’ will take place at Gezi Park. TV and soap opera stars also gathered at Taksim Square to defend the protests of Gezi Park. “Magnificent Century” star Halit Ergenç was also in the group, and they have issued a written statement demanding Gezi Park back.

Model Kerr won't come to Turkey

ANTALYA – Doğan News Agency

World renowned top model Miranda Kerr, who was scheduled to take the podium at the Dosso Dosi Fashion Show today in Antalya, abandoned coming to Turkey because of the ongoing Taksim Gezi Park protests. The fashion show will be held until June 11 at the Antalya Expo Center. Dosso Dossi Fashion Show Executive Board Chairman Hikmet Eraslan said Kerr had been expected to arrive in Turkey yesterday morning from Los Angeles, but she did not appear on the plane. He said that when they got in touch with her they learned that she had decided not to come to Turkey because of the events.