Culture and arts are forbidden in Van!

All social, political and cultural activities have almost come to a halt in this province of Van marked by prohibition.

The Governorship of Van has been issuing a ban of actions and activities since the declaration of the state of emergency four years ago.

The ban on actions and activities was extended every 15 days and was finally extended once again on 6 August 2020. All social, political and cultural activities have almost come to a halt in this city marked by prohibition.

Important cultural and artistic activities such as the Van Book Fair and the Traditional Van Festival, habitually held every year have not been organised for four years due to the recurrent ban imposed by the governorship.

Aryen Culture and Art Center teacher Hüseyin Akdoğan reminded that for four years not a single event has been organised, except for the 15 July events and added: “We are talking about at a city with a population of 1, 300,000 people which has not seen a single culture and art event for 5 years. This is an assimilation policy imposed by the system on these people. If Kurdish politics is under intense pressure today, the same policy is imposed in terms of culture and arts. This is only applied in Kurdish provinces. During this period, hundreds of cultural and artistic activities we wanted to do were banned by the governorship or the police; Our artists were threatened with arrest and even some of our artists were detained."

Stating that the AKP organizes all kinds of events in the city, Akdoğan added: “We understand here that there is a special policy applied to our people and to the culture, art and even life of this people. "Where there is no culture and art, there will be drugs, prostitution and gambling."