Spanish citizen Armenian violin virtuoso Ara Malikian’s concert, which was scheduled to be held on 11 June in Turkey’s capital Ankara was cancelled without any explanation.
The concert would be part of a festival to be organised by the Turkish ministry of culture and tourism.
Those who bought tickets for the Ara Malikian concert were informed of the cancellation by e-mail messages.
In Turkey, there has recently been a series of cancellations of music events, and while no explanation has been indicated by the authorities in many cases, there have been only vague explanations in some.
Kurdish musician Aynur Doğan’s concerts in two western cities were earlier cancelled; the one scheduled for 20 May by a local council, and the more recent one reportedly by the company that would be organising the concert.
In Eskişehir, another Western city, a music festival was banned by the city governorate on 10 May. A certain ‘Eskişehir Brotherhood Platform’, a conservative group claimed to have ties to the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), voiced support for the governerate’s ban.
A concert of musician siblings Metin and Kemal Kahraman in the Kurdish-majority city of Muş (Mûş) was cancelled on 16 May by the city governerate.
Musician Niyazi Koyuncu announced that a district municipal council in Istanbul cancelled his concert to be held on 25 May.
Apolas Lermi, who sings almost forgotten Pontic Greek songs, was targeted by a government media columnist who said that Lermi voiced support for the recognisiton of the Pontus Genocide*, Lermi’s two successive concerts were subsequently cancelled on 23 May.
Musician Melek Mosso’s concert, scheduled for 3 June, was cancelled on 26 May by the municipal council in the city of Isparta after she was targeted by conservative groups.
Kurdish musician Mem Ararat’s concert in the western city of Bursa was cancelled for ‘public safety’ reasons.
* Pontus genocide was part of the Greek Genocide that was committed between 1913-22 in the Ottoman Empire and the Turkish Republic. It began with the defeat and land losses of the Ottoman Empire in the 1st Balkan War. wiping out the entire Greek population in Anatolia and Thrace except for a small community in Istanbul. Pontic Greeks had been a people with a presence in the region of Pontus, on the shores of the Black Sea and in the Pontic Mountains of northeastern Anatolia, since at least 700 BC.