The 32nd-anniversary concert of the Mesopotamia Culture Centre (MKM), a Kurdish art centre founded in 1991 in Istanbul, scheduled to take place on Saturday under the theme “Free future, free art”, has been met with an unexpected ban by the district governorship. In a strongly worded statement, MKM declared their refusal to recognise what they deem arbitrary and political restrictions on their artistic expression.
The ban, imposed by the Küçükçekmece District Governorship, has prompted MKM to respond by organising alternative concerts, defiantly challenging the prohibitive measures.
At a press conference attended by MKM artists and representatives from various cultural organisations, the collective expressed their discontent with the ban.
The statement underscored the significance of language, culture, and art in defining a nation’s identity, praising MKM’s 32-year commitment to preserving Kurdish culture and art.
Rejecting the ban as illegitimate and entirely political, the MKM declared, “We want to emphasise clearly that this decision is null and void for us. Because art can never be banned. These prohibitions are a continuation of centuries-old cultural assimilation.” The artists further argued that such restrictions are reflective of the broader political climate in Turkey.
In defiance of the ban, MKM artists pledged to overcome obstacles to Kurdish culture through their songs, dances, and slogans, declaring their unwavering commitment to the struggle for freedom.
To counteract the banned concerts, MKM will hold two major concerts on the same day.