The mayor of Turkey’s western seaport city of Derince released a statement on Sunday announcing the cancellation of the concert of prominent Kurdish musician and singer Aynur Doğan.
It said in the statement: “As a result of a detailed inspection, it’s been concluded that the concert is not appropriate, and it’s been canceled by our municipal administration.”
In a second statement by the mayor, posted on Twitter later in the evening, it said:
“The concert, the cancellation of which was announced earlier in the day, was canceled because application to authorities for required permissions was not made in due course, official procedures not followed, and tickets sold inappropriately in the process.
The cancellation was announced about only one hour after the concert was targeted by a government supporting Twitter account.
While the hashtag ‘Aynur Doğan’ instantly became one of the top trending topics on Twitter in Turkey, writers, musicians, MPs, political party leaders, journalists expressed their reactions in their tweets.
Author Murathan Mungan said:
“Aynur Doğan is the honour of these lands on an international scale. She is herself a musical prestige.”
Musician Ceylan Ertem said:
‘Banning Aynur Doğan’s concert, that’s the most blatant thing I’ve heard for quite some time. I stand by my Aynur.’
Pervin Buldan, co-chair of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), simply said ‘Şev Baş Aynur Doğan’ (‘Good Night Aynur Doğan), and posted the youtube link of ‘Dar Hejiroke’ from Doğan’s 2004 album ‘Keçe Kurdan’ (‘Kurdish Girl’).
Ahmet Şık, MP for the Workers’ Party of Turkey (TİP), said:
“Here’s the truth: Derince municipality of AKP banned a performance by Aynur Doğan, one of the most prominent figures of Kurdish music, and it did this on 15 May Kurdish Language Day. They actually said, ‘We are fascists but we’re afraid to admit it.'”
Main opposition Republican People’s Party’s (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said:
“Music ban at nights / the youth loves KPOP, ban it / Kurdish music banned by AKP’s municipal administration / How well it’d fit them if they motioned a constitutional amendment banning entertainment. We were born free and we’ll die free. Get this in your head, AKP. It’d be lovely listening to Dar Hejiroke tonight.”
Aynur Doğan’s ordeal with Turkish authorities has quite a past.
She was 30 when a Turkish court banned her album ‘Keçe Kurdan’ in 2005 because of two words in the song, ‘keçe’ (‘girl’) and ‘ceng’ (‘battle’), which, according to the court, would encourage women to leave their partners and go to the mountains, and hence the words promote ‘division’.