It is unfortunate that a country with such diverse history and rich culture like Turkey is repeatedly linked to censorship of the arts. One recent incident was in Spain when the Turkish Embassy in Madrid censored an international exhibition organized in 2013 with ARCOmadrid. In the exhibition booklet, the explanatory notes
to artist İz Öztat
’s work “A Selection from the Utopie Folder (Zişan, 1917-1919)”
was censored upon the request of the Embassy, and the expressions “Armenian genocide” and the date “1915” were taken out. The case shows how the Turkish state delimits artistic expression in the projects it supports, and how it silences the institutions it cooperates with. Pelin Başaran
and Banu Karaca
wrote a comprehensive article on this issue through Siyah Bant
, a research platform that documents and reports on cases of censorship in arts across Turkey, and shares them with the local and international public.