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AKİF BEKİ >Political debates around the Red Army Choir

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It was the other night when two opposing winds were blowing against each other on Twitter. One trending topic was thundering with “The Red Army Choir should not give a concert.” They, in fact, have scheduled performances on April 7 and 8 at the Cemal Reşit Rey Hall in Istanbul. But after the vicious massacre in Idlib, the choir’s presence in Istanbul is not wanted. 

The Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality is dragged through the mud because they allowed the concert; the city is called to cancel it. 

Messages that read, “In Turkey, we do not want a music group from slaughterer Russia that has massacred children in Syria” are bombarding Istanbul Mayor Kadir Topbaş.

Another topic from the same windy hill dictates, “Pick your side; you are either the cross or the crescent.” The dominant call is “Keep your ideas to yourself; just tell me which side you are on.”

I prefer to save my vote for the ballot box, but at the same time openly express my views. 

The blindness of holding the yea-sayers together with Greek invaders and with imperialist conspirators is explained with mental retardation. Have you not heard President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan? 

If the same method is used to review the retardation, the lack of wisdom, the scarcity of reasoning, the absence of logic, then imagine where those who see the naysayers in the same front as crusaders would stand, right? 
 
Asking support from artists 

Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu met with artists to get them to say “No,” while Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım met with them to get them to say “Yes.” 

Those who know very well how to ask for political support are somehow deaf to the problems of the artists and are closed to their political reactions. 

Kılıçdaroğlu does not recognize those singers as singers, the ones who have refused to allow their songs to be used in their campaign. The government also “fine tunes” any artist at even a slight protest, telling them “to know their place as an artist.” They are told that if they are to do politics, they should enter the field by getting elected. 

But whenever they need the artists, they see no harm in knocking their doors. 

It has been a year since the culture and arts package was opened. The government is not mentioning its pledges on copyrights and retirement reforms; neither does the opposition poke the course of events. 

The artists are generally powerless; they do not have the energy to stand up even for their own issues. To hold on to their popularity, they answer all calls and they respond to all invitations. 

Twitter users saw that they were an easy bunch to swallow. Before the Idlib massacre, so many atrocities and mass killings happened in Syria; Aleppo and other cities have been destroyed; so many protections and assurances were given to Bashar al-Assad. 

Russia was the same Russia then… 

Before the U.S. and Germany, it was Russia who supported the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and its extensions, it was Russia that embraced them and protected them. 

It was only three days ago, the Twitter account “TR Diplomacy” shared the inventory of the PKK and Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) arms.

While German arms were four kinds and American arms were eight; there were 13 types of arms whose origins were from Russia. Most of them were heavy weapons at the PKK inventory. This means that the championship for supplying weapons to the PKK goes to Russian suppliers. It was only a short while ago when Dushka, anti-aircraft from the Russia portfolio was found at a military operation in the eastern province of Tunceli.

Dear Twitter trolls, before it comes to the boycotting of the Red Army Choir, at least put some pressure on the government to boycott Russian weapons. Try to cancel the S-400 missile orders from Russia. 

If this is too much from you, then ask for a retaliation of the food embargo. 

Is it only the mayor of Istanbul and the Red Army Choir concert that is in your caliber? 

We have made villains out of the naysayers and yea-sayers. We have ended the terror gangs with our votes. We have shaken Europe with our polemics; al-Assad was punished; we fought all the armies of the world; we have scored all these victories and now we are left with the Red Army concert to deal with, is that so? 

Leave the arts and artists alone… Don’t pull them into this political whirlpool.

April/07/2017

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