The general arts directorate of Istanbul municipality’s city theatres have been imposing an embargo on a play based on Kurdish epic tale “Mem û Zîn”, Gazete Duvar reported on Saturday.
Cuma Boynukara, the author of the play, applied to the administration in 2021 to stage Mem û Zîn, which was first played in Istanbul in 2002. The administration first accepted the request; however, the play was not included the city theatre’s program without any justification after the general director was removed from his duty. Following that, Boynukara could not find anyone in the administration to discuss the fate of the play to be staged in Turkish.
Boynukara told Gazete Duvar that the new acting general director of the Istanbul municipality’s city theatres has not answered his applications for a meeting since March 2022, after telling the author that they did not have any prejudice against him.
“They thought that they will be subject to an investigation by the Ministry of Interior if the play was staged. It is understood how this thought criminalised me. However, the play was staged twice by the state’s theatres,” Boynukara said.
The author had to hand over his criminal record issued by the Ministry of Interior to the theatre administration to prevent his further criminalisation.
Gazete Duvar also applied to the municipality administration to comment on Boynukara’s allegations but have not received any reply.
Mem û Zîn is an epic tale based on the true story of two young lovers in the 15th century, that was penned by the legendary Kurdish writer and poet Ahmad Khani (Ehmedê Xanî) in the 17th century.