Translated by Translators For Justice
Boğaziçi Performance Arts Community’s Statement: Memet Ali Alabora Is Not Alone
Nowadays, as we all suffer from authoritarian state violence, we believe that the most important value that the pro-democracy and pro-pluralistic elements should stick to is solidarity. We strongly condemn the totalitarian state which tries to put the society in a straitjacket and targeting each and every individual and community who refuse. Our friend, the actor Memet Ali Alabora was explicitly threatened by first a newspaper that acts as a government speaker, and then by the Prime Minister himself during a public meeting. In this regard, we would like to inform the public and the press that we are standing by him. Memet Ali Alabora is not alone. Like all individuals and institutions defending democracy and pluralism, Boğaziçi Performance Arts Community will also continue to defend life, freedom and peace. Starting with Memet Ali Alabora being targeted, the government officials who see people claiming their rights as “crime” and freedom of expression as “disuniting”, explicitly stated that a lot of artists will be criminalized. As the members of the Boğaziçi Performance Arts Community, we would like to call out on all artists, everyone who put great effort in arts and all art spheres to act in unity side by side the freedom of expression and association.
Note of the editor: Born in 1977, Memet Ali Alabora is a Turkish actor for the theatre, television and cinema. Alabora graduated from the Theater Department of the Istanbul University State Conservatory and received his Master’s Degree from Yıldız Technical University’s Faculty of Art and Design. One of the founders of garajistanbul, a contemporary performing arts institution, Alabora is married to actress Pınar Öğün.
On the very first days that Gezi Park Resistance has started, Memet Ali Alabora has always played a supporting role, especially backing up the resistance against the demolition of Gezi Park. He is known not to be a part of any political organization or party, and stood there only based on his sensitivity as an artist. Alabora has used his democratic right to voice his opinions against the policies carried out by the government. However, he was publicly shown as a target by the Prime Minister especially after his tweet, saying; “Don’t you see, what this is about is more than just a park”.