Turkey’s Labour Party MP Sevda Karaca has brought the sudden cancellation of a Kurdish-language play to the forefront of parliamentary debate, questioning Culture and Tourism Minister Mehmet Nuri Ersoy on Monday.
The cancellation and subsequent parliamentary inquiries have highlighted ongoing tensions over censorship of cultural expression and repression of minority rights in Turkey.
Qral û Travis, the Kurdish adaptation of American playwright Sam Bobrick’s political comedy Travis Pine (A Man of the People), produced by Şano Ar, was unexpectedly removed from the programme of the Gaziantep Zeugma Museum Cultural Centre the day before its scheduled performance on 11 February.
The production had already faced obstacles, including a ban by the Patnos District Governor’s Office.
MP Karaca sought clarity and accountability from Minister Ersoy, demanding an explanation as to why the production was cancelled and whether the order came from the ministry itself.
For the Kurdish community in Turkey, the play has a significance beyond its artistic value, symbolising the minority’s linguistic and cultural aspirations.
Karaca’s inquiries extended to the broader context of cultural policy and minority rights in Turkey, including the banning of Kurdish activities and cancellation of productions in the Kurdish language, underlining the critical need for transparency and accountability in governance.