Has the witch-hunt begun? Turkish Actor responds

Yeni Safak newspaper from which we published an encouraging article yesterday (http://bit.ly/18YdaBa) seems to have returned to form.

In today’s issue, it stated that Gezi Park protests were rehearsed through a play staged by Mehmet Ali Alabora (also acted in it with 15 other cast members). The play called “Mi Minor” is about a fictitious country which has a two party democracy – but both led by the same person. Nothing happens without the leader knowing. A country where it’s not necessary to think.

Mehmet Ali Alabora makes the following key points in his press release he read out this afternoon

– he stopped by the park on 27 – 31 May but not stayed in it

– he says on the evening of 30 May he tweeted ‘My friend, the issue is not only the trees, i don’t think you’ve understood. come along [to the park] #direngeziparki’

– as, he states, this tweet is being used to target him as a responsible party and he continues to receive threats because of it, which necessitated him to issue this press release.

– he states he went to the park to protect the trees and the culture of Istanbul

– “the movement turned into protests against the violence towards freedom of expression – this is as a result of the police violence. It then became an opportunity for expressing views on issues that people thought they could not air before. These issues for me include the demolition of Emek Cinema, change of management structure in Metropolitan Theatre, imminent closure of the National Theatre, Kadikoy Kusdili Cayiri and Haydarpasa train station. This is what I meant when I said ‘not only’.”

-“after 1st June, we, as artists, made a call to the Istanbul Governor for a meeting”

– “on 3rd June, the Istanbul Governor called me himself on my mobile phone and asked me to be a mediator to cease the violence in Besiktas. I said I was not the competent / responsible party and it would be better for him to get in touch with Taksim Dayanisma” (http://taksimdayanisma.org/?lang=en).

– “on 4th June I received a similar call from AKP Istanbul MP Bulent Turan saying he could help mediate between the artists and the government. Again, I said they should be talking to Taksim Dayanisma.”

– “since 1 June I tweeted 14 times, retweeted 11 times and responded to 5 people.” he also states in the 4 years he’s been on twitter, he’s received 700,000 followers and wrote 2792 tweets.

– “I’d like to emphasise: almost everybody is insistently saying the same thing: if police did not show the violence it did in the morning of 31 May, the events would not have reached this point. If so, how can my tweets, written before the police attack,  be shown, by some, as the only thing responsible for the events?”

– He states the play showed 23 times and only in Istanbul in 3 separate venues, for each of which 3 separate permits were acquired.

– He clarifies that the British agency accused of funding the play is a digital agency set up by Turks in Turkey and also operates in the UK. They helped disseminate the news about the play.

– He cancelled his trip to Strasbourg where he was invited to speak at a conference on Gezi Park demonstrations – a conference that will also be atttended by Head of EU Turkey Delegation, Hélène Flautre and others.

– “It’s clear they are trying to explain Gezi Park demonstrations through a conspiracy theory and trying to pull me into this game.”

– He states he’s received threats through social media and is taking the necessary legal steps including “As I don’t have life safety, my lawyer has applied for state protection”

He thanks Yeni Safak newspaper for taking theatre this seriously and invites them to discuss the play in person.

Turkish: http://www.haber7.com/guncel/haber/1037042-mehmet-ali-alabora-can-guvenligim-yok

for video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bsaILAVdZ9k

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