Free Speech

MLSA applied for the annulment of the act and compensation for the banned concerts of MKM

MLSA’s Legal Team applied to the administration for the annulment of the act which banned the concert events organized by the Mesopotamian Cultural Center (MKM) in İstanbul on October 16 and in Adana on October 24 to  celebrate its 30th anniversary and for compensation for the damages caused by the last minute banning of the events.

In two separate applications made to the Kadıköy District Governorship and Adana Governorate, attention was drawn to the serious and irreparable damages suffered by MKM due to the cancellation of the events at the last minute. In the applications, it was emphasized that the events were planned for a long time and expenses were made in the organization. Considering this loss faced by MKM, it was demanded that the administrative act be annulled, and the damages suffered by MKM be compensated.

‘We have taken the first step within the domestic law to remedy the unlawfulness’ 

MLSA Co-Director Lawyer Veysel Ok, stating that freedom of expression is a right for all segments of society, said “The applications were made against the discriminatory policies that the state continues to implement, especially in the performance of Kurdish art and Kurdish music. Many different people and groups can give concerts in different languages, both in Istanbul Bostancı Center and Adana Mimar Sinan Amphitheater, but the concerts of Kurdish artists are prevented for unlawful reasons. Applications are the first step of the process initiated in domestic law, and if we do not see a positive development within a month after these applications, we will apply to the administrative courts in Istanbul and Adana.We will take this matter to the European Court of Human Rights if these unlawful administrative acts are not annulled and our client is not compensated for the damages.  As the ECtHR has many decisions on this issue, we expect a positive result.”

Background

MKM, which has been operating for the protection and development of Kurdish language, culture and art since 1991 and faced many pressures, has organized concerts in Istanbul and Adana as part of the events which have been planned for a while to celebrate its 30th anniversary.

An informative petition was submitted to the Kadıköy District Governor’s Office on October 11 for the event and permission was obtained for the event that has been planned for more than two months to be held at the Bostancı Exhibition Center on October 16. Despite the permission of the Governor’s Office, the event was banned only a couple of hours before its start, with the approval of the Kadıköy District Governor’s Office on October 15, on the grounds of “national security, public order, the possibility of committing a crime, and the rights and freedoms of others”. 

The celebration event that was planned to be held at the Adana Mimar Sinan Amphitheater on October 24 was banned by the Adana Governor’s Office.  The Governor’s Office announced the ban as follows: “The events in the name or the content of Mesopotamian Cultures Research and Development Center Association, Mesopotamia Cultural Center-MKM and which will be attended by Talat Yeşil, Mehmet Atlı, Cevdet Bağca, XECE, Genim, Şilan Dora, Yemlihan Adıgüzel, Emine Şilan Yüksekkaya, Hadice Yaşar, Fadime Pulat, Neslihan Edis, Hüseyin İldan are banned throughout our province starting at 00.01 on October 23, 2021, until 23.59 on October 29, 2021.”