German theater group cancels İstanbul performance fearing arrest of staff by Turkish gov’t

The Berliner Schaubühne theater has scrapped an upcoming production of Shakespeare’s Richard III in Istanbul, fearing arrest of its staff, on Tuesday.

“The arrests of many journalists, scientists and human rights activists in recent weeks and months,” as well as security concerns, were behind the decision, Deutsche Welle cited a press statement by the theater on Nov 7.

“The impossibility of being able to give those involved a guarantee of their personal security in the current situation ultimately led us not to travel to Turkey.”

Meanwhile, the number of Turkish citizens who fled Turkey following a failed coup last year and applied for asylum in Germany in October totals 1,059, Deutsche Welle said on Thursday. According to a Deutsche Welle report, the German Interior Ministry said the number of Turkish refugee claimants in Germany was 1,059 in October. The corresponding number was 1,000 in September and 962 in August. Turkey ranked three in the list of source countries that sent highest number of refugees to German, in October.

Turkey survived a military coup attempt on July 15, 2016, after which the government launched a sweeping crackdown against all opposition circles, leading thousands of people to seek safety elsewhere in the world.

Turkish government has launched a sweeping crackdown against all opposition circles in the aftermath of the July 15, 2016 failed coup. More than 55,000 people were arrested at home and thousands of others have fled Turkey to seek refuge elsewhere.

Among the arrestees are journalists, academics, theater players, doctors, judges, lawyers, scientists, teachers, rights defenders and a comedian. (

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