At least 28 events in Kurdish banned in Turkey since 2019: report

Kurdish singer Aynur Doğan AFP

Turkish authorities have banned at least 28 concerts and cultural events in the Kurdish language across 16 provinces since 2019, Turkish Minute reported on Tuesday, citing to a report from the Media and Law Studies Association (MLSA).

The MLSA has submitted a report to the Committee of Ministers at the Council of Europe in which it examined violations of the freedom of assembly.

The report shows that among the prohibited events, 18 were concerts, eight were plays, one was a stand-up show and one was a lecture on literature.

At least two concerts and plays in Kurdish have been banned by the authorities without any reason given since the beginning of 2024, according to the report.

The MLSA called on the Council of Europe to ask Turkey provide information about the prohibition on events in Kurdish while urging the country to put an end to the arbitrary bans.

Throughout most of the 20th century, successive governments have imposed outright bans on or suppression of the Kurdish language in Turkey, which is seen as linked to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

Listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey and much of the international community, the PKK has been waging a decades-long war against the Turkish state that has claimed tens of thousands of lives.

Since an attempted coup against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in July 2016, the government has shut down a number of Kurdish language institutes, dailies, websites and TV channels as part of a crackdown targeting the Kurdish political movement.

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