Court reverses decision to ban MKM's 30th anniversary event

The Istanbul 6th Administrative Court canceled the Kadıköy District Governor's decision banning the 30th anniversary event of MKM.

The Istanbul 6th Administrative Court reversed the Kadıköy District Governor's decision to ban the Mesopotamia Cultural Center (MKM)'s 30th anniversary event. Speaking about the decision, MKM member Dilan Suyu said: "We will continue to develop the Kurdish culture and language."

The Istanbul 6th Administrative Court reversed the decision, saying that it "violated freedom of expression, freedom of science and art, and the right to peaceful assembly".

The MKM members held a press conference at the association building in Beyoğlu regarding the decision.

MKM member Dilan Suyu, MKM artist Talat Yeşil and Media and Legal Studies Association (MLSA) Co-Director Attorney Veysel Ok attended the meeting.

MKM artist Talat Yeşil read the statement in Kurdish, while MKM employee Dilan Suyu read the Turkish version.

The MKM artists said that the 30th anniversary event was planned at the Bostancı Performance Center on 16 October 2021. It  was banned by the Kadıköy District Governor's Office on the grounds of "security". Suyu said that art cannot be banned and added that the 6th Administrative Court of Istanbul is an important decision because it set a precedent for "all artistic and cultural activities."

‘We will continue to promote and develop Kurdish culture’

Suyu underlined that the 31st anniversary was planned to be held on 1 December 2022. It was canceled for the same reasons, said Suyu, adding: “As MKM workers who have been serving Kurdish culture for more than 30 years, we would like to emphasize once again that Kurdish culture and art cannot be banned. On this occasion, we once again call on the democratic public to show a common reaction against such prohibitive practices. We will continue to practice, develop and expand the Kurdish language and art with determination, against all kinds of oppression and prohibitions.

Important decision

MLSA Co-Director, lawyer Veysel Ok said that this decision marks an important precedent, because it should mean that everyone will be able to organize concerts and events comfortably.


Only last June, the "Çîrokên Xorasanê (Khorasan's Tales)" event, organized by the Mesopotamia Cultural Center (MKM) to be held at the Ali Emiri Efendi Cultural Center in Fatih was banned by the Fatih District Governor's Office without any justification.

In a statement, the MKM said: "This ban, which was imposed just hours before our event, is actually a ban imposed on the Kurdish language and culture. Like the similar prohibitions we have encountered, this attempt to ban our culture won’t deter us."

Last December, in order to counter a "danger to public safety and order", Istanbul’s Küçükçekmece district governorate banned a concert  by the MKM. The reason given by the authorities in their ban order is "serious concerns" about the event with the allegation that the concert could open up "room for criminal offences", as it was assumed that it would be accompanied by "propaganda for a terrorist organisation" and "provocative actions".