A university in Turkey’s southeastern province of Mardin (Mêrdîn) has barred Kurdish soprano Pervin Chakar from performing in its concert hall due to the presence of Kurdish songs in her repertoire.
Chakar said Mardin Artuklu University’s rector had at first responded positively when she asked to book the concert hall in May.
“Then they asked to see my concert repertoire. They didn’t allow me to give a concert because of the Kurdish songs in my repertoire,” Chakar, who was born in Mardin, said on Twitter on Sunday.
“I’m saddened about not being able to give a concert in my own city. The languages in an artist’s repertoire can’t be questioned. This is a crime against humanity,” she added.
The university’s decision was slammed on social media, with several politicians condemning the intolerance to the Kurdish language.
“Kurdish is banned in Turkey! No hypocritical official should come out and cover it up!” prominent Kurdish politician Sırrı Sakık said on Twitter.
Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy Sezgin Tanrıkulu also weighed in, asking the university to clarify whether the concert had been banned due to a Kurdish repertoire.
Chakar’s cancellation follows another recent incident when a singer was banned from performing over Kurdish songs. In May, officials prevented Kurdish singer Aynur Doğan from holding concerts in two provinces, prompting outrage on social media. She went on to perform in Istanbul, defying calls to ban her performance there as well.