İzmir street performer fined for ‘being too noisy’
A street performer in the western Turkish province of İzmir has been fined for “being too noisy” and “creating public disturbance."
İlker Kılıçer, who is well-known in İzmir for his street performances, was fined 82 Turkish Liras by the municipal police five years ago for “creating public disturbance” with the music he played to accompany his show.
He refused to pay the fine in protest, which ultimately prompted the authorities to launch property seizure proceedings. As he was preparing to attend a street performance festival in India, Kılıçer found that he was facing the seizure of his belongings.
“I believe that the streets can only be warmer with art,” he said, asking whether performing on the streets is a crime.
“I think I’m the first pantomime artist to disturb the environment with art,” Kılıçer told the Doğan News Agency.
He said municipal police perceive street artists as simply “street merchants,” and vowed that paying the fine would amount to “acknowledging that I have committed a crime.”
“If I had paid the fine, I would have betrayed my art,” Kılıçer added.
Karşıyaka Mayor Hüseyin Mutlu Akpınar, however, vowed that Kılıçer will pay the fine, while adding that he had canceled the property seizure proceedings against him.
Akpınar also noted that the fine was given during the previous Karşıyaka mayor’s term.