Turkish court orders interim injunction against Cirque du Soleil trucks, blocks departure
Dinçer Gökçe – ISTANBUL
DHA photoA Turkish court in the northwestern border province of Edirne has passed an interim injunction ordering the seizure of 23 trucks belonging to the world-renowned Quebecois performance group Cirque Du Soleil after the circus’ organizing firm decided to cancel an agreement with Turkish counterparts for a 40-series-show despite receiving advance payments.
According to the agreement sealed by Événements 45 Degrees Inc. and Turkish ESO Organizasyon on March 10, Cirque du Soleil was contracted to perform 40 shows in the southern province of Antalya as part of the 2016 Expo Fair. Slated to go on stage between Aug. 16 and Sept. 17, the group was paid 2,250,000 euros in cash. On July 26, however, the Quebecois firm notified its Turkish counterparts that it was unilaterally canceling the agreement, citing security concerns in Turkey that arose from the failed July 15 coup attempt.
The company also indicated that they would not make any refund for the 40 shows.
While the dispute between the parties remained unsolved despite efforts by the Turkish side to reach a reconciliation with the firm, the Turkish side was informed that the Cirque du Soleil team was scheduled to perform in Istanbul between Oct. 1 and 9.
Upon this information, the Turkish party involved in the dispute applied to an Edirne court, demanding an interim injunction for the performance group’s materials which were to be transported over land with 23 trucks.
Going into effect early on Oct. 12, the court resulted in 18 of the trucks being prevented from leaving Turkey for Greece. Five of the trucks, however, reportedly left the country before the decision went into effect.
The lawyer of the Turkish company, Eylem Akkayalı, said Événements 45 Degrees Inc. failed to abide by the terms of the agreement by citing the state of emergency in Turkey.
“We are always ready for reconciliation. Our customer is also always ready for reconciliation. If they make the payment, of course we can lift the decision and come to an agreement. This situation has somewhat turned into an issue of national pride. Thus we demand that our losses be reimbursed,” said Akkayalı.