President of Turkish actors' union threatened over Gezi Park support
10 June 2013
President of theTurkish actors' union Mehmet Ali Alabora (left) has made a press statement claiming that he is being threatened by unknown people over his support for the Gezi Park protests, after a Turkish daily reported that he was one of the leading figures of “a plan to topple the Turkish Government.”
Pro-Government newspaper Yeni Şafak claimed on June 10 that a theatre play called “Mi Minor,” had held rehearsals of “revolution” in Turkey for months. The newspaper accused Memet Ali Alabora of collaborating with “external spies” to start a revolution in Turkey.
The newspaper accused Memet Ali Alabora of collaborating with “external spies” to start a revolution in Turkey.
Actors and performers have been at the forefront of demonstrations taking place in recent weeks in Istanbul’s Taksim Square and Gezi Park. As widely reported in the UK media, these largely peaceful protests against the redevelopment of cultural spaces to make way for a new shopping mall have been met with a violent crackdown by the Turkish authorities. The buildings affected by the redevelopment include the Emek Theatre, one of Istanbul’s oldest cinemas, and the Circle D'Orient building which houses three theatres including the Emek. The picture left shows members of the Turkish actors' union demonstrating outside the theatre.
Equity and the International Federation of Actors have been watching the situation closely and in April the European Group of FIA passed a motion brought by the Turkish Actors Union condemning the actions of the authorities and calling for the theatres to be preserved.
A member of UK Equity who is currently in Turkey is giving Equity hour-by-hour reports of developments, especially in respect of the Turkish acting community. Watch this web site for more news.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
Equity is calling on members to condemn the violence and offer your support in the following ways:
- Amnesty International has created a letter which you can sign to be sent to the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan: http://takeaction.amnestyusa.org/siteapps/advocacy/ActionItem.aspx?c=6oJCLQPAJiJUG&b=6645049&aid=519905&msource=WPFPTUR1
- They also offer some further advice for taking action here, including ideas for Twitter post: http://humanrightsturkey.org/2013/05/31/take-action-now/
- Virtually take part in the Taksim square gatherings and to show solidarity with the protestors: https://secure.avaaz.org/en/turkey_virtual_march/?twi
Equity is also calling on members to sign petitions condemining the state violence against protesters:
- AVAAZ: http://www.avaaz.org/en/petition/Erdogan_End_the_crackdown_now/
- LABOURSTART: http://www.labourstartcampaigns.net/show_campaign.cgi?c=1840
Please also email your MP and ask them to press for a statement from the House of Commons on this matter. You can find your MP’s contact details at http://www.theyworkforyou.com. Remember when writing to your MP to provide your full postal address as parliamentary rules state that they are not allowed to respond to you without it or take up issues on your behalf.
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