Turkey’s ruling AKP has been in power in the last 12 years and has generally been bold in claiming that their rule has liberated Turkey from its chains. One of those chains has always been censorship in Turkey. The leadership of the party often makes comments that they allow “responsible” artists, writers, translators and producers so long as they do not “offend” anyone with their work. However, this responsibility aspect of things become slightly controversial, given that many people of AKP allegiance feel “offended” by almost anything artistic. Nudity is a definite hush-hush, man-woman interaction in artwork is unacceptable, anything drinks-related is “no way”, and if one is to employ political topoi in the artwork the artist might as well start looking for asylum opportunities in other countries.
Main opposition party CHP’s culture and arts committee has organized a press meeting and revealed the report on “Censorship in 12 years during AKP’s Reign”.
-32 documentaries, movies, theatrical plays have been censored and banned from display.
-18 radio, television, newspaper censorship and broadcast/reporting ban have been applied.
-Oscar-winner “Piano” has been fined on Gün TV for “violence”.
-Corruption Probe has been declared a banned topic, broadcast ban has been declared.
-17 times censorship and blocking access to social media platforms.
-4 sites have been blocked completely from access.
-16 censorship cases have appeared in arts and literature field; Fazıl Say’s symphonies have been scrapped from Presidential Symphonic Orchestra program.
-16 attacks have taken place targeting cultural and artistic works.
-9 cases where cancellation of artistic funds and subventions have appeared in agenda.
-5 cases where the artists have been directly shown as target to violent mobs.
-135 total cases where government indulged in direct censorship, repression and banishment to arts and cultural activities.
-Around 25.000 books and close to 100.000 websites are still banned in Turkey.