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An Artist’s Rebellion: The support revoked over a Retweet (RT)

A scheduled concert in Japan by Turkish pianist Selen Gülün was cancelled. Gülün’s statement, made via Twitter, said: “My upcoming concert in Japan has been cancelled because I retweeted Ümit Kıvanç’s writing on Diyarbakır.”

Pianist Selen Gülün claimed that the support of Cultural Offices of Turkey for her concert was retracted. She pointed to her retweet of piece written by Ümit Kıvanç on Diyarbakır as the reason for the withdrawal of support. Although preparations for Gülün’s concert had been underway, the concert was cancelled following the retraction of Cultural Office support.

The full statement of Selen Gülün is as follows:

I have worked with the Goethe Institute, the Cultural Centers of Italy and France, the Cultural Office of Australia, the Cervantes Institute and British Council sponsorships many times. What do the cultural offices in Turkey do? Who heads them? My concert in Japan was cancelled even as the concert tickets were on sale. Because I retweeted Ümit Kıvanç’s tweet about Diyarbakır! Because that tweet apparently called the president a terrorist, now apparently so did I! I’ll explain the details, of course I’m not one to be shut up like this. It’s not our job to be silent. Our position is also clear, let no one fool themselves. I salute the person in Ankara decides what kind of artist I am and whether the state should support me by reading my tweets. Friends, I was already going to do this project, and they came to me and told me they wanted to sponsor me in order to “show the modern face of Turkey.” So that’s what happened! It was to be a special concert where I would play with Tokyo’s well-known important musicians. Now, we’ll of course let them know that this was a political cancellation. So, they’ll see the face of modern Turkey. It’s no lie, this is precisely our true face!’

Translated by Ebru Aksay

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