Revolutionary culture banned from the Munzur festival in Turkey

Revolutionary music groups Grup Yorum and Grup İsyan Ateşi and the Armenian folk dance group Veradarz were banned from performing at the Munzur Culture and Nature Festival, which is held annually in Dersim, eastern Turkey since 1999. The music groups were also banned from entering the region at all, and later a ban of all actions and events for 15 days apart from the festival program was put in place in Dersim for the ”safety of the festival” and to maintain an ”atmosphere of peace and security” as was said in the statement of the Tunceli Governor’s Office. This ban is similar to last year, when the music groups were also banned.

Members of the music group Grup İsyan Ateşi, the reporter of the newspaper Yeni Demokrasi and readers of Partizan were detained and beaten up by the police at the Seyid Rıza Square of Dersim. Yeni Demokrasi posted a video of the attack on Twitter:

The artists have denounced the ban and vowed that revolutionary art and culture will not be silenced. The old Turkish State has gone out its way to ensure that the ”atmosphere of peace and security” of bayonets remains: even the former members of Grup İsyan Ateşi are now banned from entering Dersim, one of them was even removed from his home in Dersim and taken outside of the region.

The festival began as resistance against the oppression and forced displacement of the people of Dersim. Over the years, it has faced many attacks, as well as attempts to liquidate its revolutionary character. The ban put on place by the Tunceli Governor’s Office is another example of this. Partizan in Dersim released a short statement denouncing the statement issued by the Organizing Committee of the festival, saying it does not reflect the revolutionary essence of the festival and said they will publish criticism of the statement soon.

We publish here some examples of the art of the groups:

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