İstanbul – İstanbul 10th Administrative Court rejected the case where the Media and Law Studies Association (MLSA) demanded the suspension of the execution of the İstanbul Gaziosmanpaşa District Governorship’s decision to ban the Kurdish-language theater play “Bêrû: Klakson Borîzan û Birt” by Teatra Jiyana Nû.
‘District governorship’s discretion should be kept extended due to the sensitivity of the subject matter’
The May 31-dated court decision claimed the theater group Teatra Jiyana Nû had links with the Mesopotamia Culture Center (MKM) and that the MKM had “connections to the terrorist organization PKK.”
Moreover it was defended that the “discretion of the public administration should be kept extended due to the sensitivity of the subject matter.”
In this respect, İstanbul 10th Administrative Court declared the decision to ban the play as aiming to “prevent the support of terror-related structures and the financing of terror,” and concluded that the decision was lawful.
The court decision quotes a police report dating back to the same day of the ban decision that lists some of the concerts and theater performances that the MKM held since 2014.
The police report claimed holding theater performances on days such as March 8 International Women’s Day and March 21 Newroz indicates MKM and Teatra Jiyana Nû have “connections to the PKK/KCK terrorist organization,” and that the “revenues of the staging of the play would be used in activities supporting the separatist terrorist organization.”
MLSA lawyers will appeal the decision.
On October 13 of last year, the Kurdish adaptation of Dario Fo’s play, “Bêrû: Klakson Borîzan û Birt” by Teatra Jiyana Nû was banned hours before its staging at the City Theatres of İstanbul Metropolitan Municipality’s Gaziosmanpaşa Stage.
İstanbul Gaziosmanpaşa District Governorship banned the Kurdish adaptation of Dario Fo’s play based on the claim that “it could disturb the peace of the public.”
MLSA lawyers carried the ban to the administrative court and emphasized in the petition the fact that the decision to ban the play was in violation of the rights of those who demand to see plays in Kurdish. Moreover, it was claimed that the district governorship’s decision was in violation of the Turkish Constitution, as it constituted the violation of the freedom of expression of both the theatre company, and the members of the audience.