Turkey, following a unilateral decision, came out of the “Creative Europe” program, which supports the areas of culture and media in Europe. Negotiations began with the European Commission officials to arrange the release of the Turkey program to June 1, 2017. This decision was taken by the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The department decided to withdraw from Creative Europe, because the program supported the musical project “Aghet” in commemoration of the Armenian Genocide during his centenary. This program has contributed to the culture and arts in Turkey.
Creative Europe is a framework program that the European Commission launched in 2014 with the objective of supporting the sectors of culture and media. It is expected that this program runs until 2020; it is to the financial support of 2500 artists and workers in this sector, 2,000 cinemas, 800 films and 4,500 translations of books, with a budget of 1.46 billion euros. For 2016, it is expected that an insurance system for small sector activities is in place.
While all cultural creation initiatives of EU member countries may join this program, the EU non-member countries can also benefit if they meet certain criteria. Thanks to an agreement between Turkey and the European Commission, Turkey has provided financial support of the program and the culture and arts initiatives in Turkey had benefited from the program’s financial resources.
In 2015, Turkey was to pay about 2.4 million euros to the program. Leaving the program, Turkey will not give any money and initiatives of culture and arts in Turkey will no longer be able to benefit.
“Ask them yourselves”
In an interview with Agos, the spokesman for the European Commission for Education, Youth, Sports and Culture, Nathalie Vandystadt said that negotiations on the release of the program began: “Although this creates a situation deplorable, the Commission respects the decision of Turkey. You should speak with Turkey officials to get more information about the reasons for their output. “ And the delegation to Turkey from the European Commission, for its part, made no statement. The agreement between Turkey and the European Commission was signed by the Ministries of the European Union and the Ministry of Culture. The withdrawal request is however after the Foreign Ministry. Officials of the department “Creative Europe” at the Ministry of Culture said it is the Foreign Ministry following the case and that it was their decision.
According to sources who have spoken at the Agos newspaper, the “concern” of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs began a year ago. After the program has announced that the musical project “Aghet” would be supported to the tune of 200,000 euros, the ministry has begun to address the situation. The sources said the ministry was very concerned about the concerts and the way the project was announced on the website of the European Commission.
Before the concert in which the Dresden Symphony Orchestra interpret “Aghet”, officials from the interior ministry had contested the chapeau of the concert and they strove to make changes. In response to Turkish pressures, the spokesman of the European Commission said in a statement: “The European Commission temporarily suspends, because of the reactions that the words used in the text have caused. In the following days, a new blurb will be issued. “
In the suspended text [in effect, censored, ndt], the focus was on the genocide and other massacres and violations of human rights in Turkey. In the second version, the word “genocide” was also used, the European Commission had put a footnote on page reads: “the Commission is not responsible for any textual content downloaded or proposed. Such content expresses the author’s views (or authors). “ Still, this was enough point for the ministry decided to simply withdraw from the program. While this decision has begun circulating recently, sources in Brussels and Ankara said it was not a recent event.
Markus Rindt, the head of the Dresden Symphony Orchestra fat a statement before the concert saying that Turkey demanded the withdrawal of financial support given to the orchestra. The Commission has not responded to this request and it was after this that the foreign ministry has accelerated the withdrawal process. “Aghet” consists of symphony concerts planned in Dresden, Istanbul, Yerevan, Belgrade and Madrid in collaboration with various orchestras. In addition to artistic performances, discussion sessions and workshops are planned. Composers Cow Sharafyan, Zeynep and Helmut Oehring Gedizlioglu contributed to this program. 14 musicians from Europe, 6 soloists and vocal group of Armenia and Turkey are included in the concerts, which are supported by three orchestras. Anadolu Kultur | Anatolian Culture] Turkey, Serbia Orchestra Without Borders and the Theatre of Dresden, Germany, support the project. The composer and guitarist Marc Sinan also participates in the program, which is the last part of a trilogy reflecting the cultures of Anatolia and the Caucasus.
We talked to contributors musicians. The composer Marc Sinan and the head of the Dresden Symphony Orchestra told us: “This is a Turkish artists punishment attempt taking our peaceful art project for pretense.” Under the title “Notes of one who remained silent,” Zeynep Gedizlioglu composed a new work included in the project Aghet; She said: “I think this project is based on peace and dialogue. The meeting that we made and the dialogue we hired were immediate, sincere, genuine and human. For most of us, it was beyond what we had imagined. “
What is the real aim?
Creative Europe is essential for most of the initiatives of culture and arts in Turkey, because it is almost impossible to carry most projects without support of that kind. Vasif Kortun, Director of Research and Programs Salt Istanbul, said that they had knowledge of the decision as they were preparing to renew their program at The International, a confederation of museums, which is the most great confederation in Europe for the establishment of a long-term and viable model for public museums. Salt, as a member of this confederation, had the opportunity to benefit from the funding sources of Creative Europe, to work with five museums and access to archives and collections of these museums. The administration of The International issued a statement entitled “Breaking Bridges – The withdrawal of Turkey Creative Europe”, disapproving of the decision to disengage, Vasif Kortun said he could that they have taken the Aghet project as an excuse, adding: “We could express discomfort towards this particular project, rather than withdraw from the program in its entirety. However, they chose to do so. It could be that the real purpose is to pressure financially to various institutions. This is what happens in India, China, Egypt and Russia in recent years. I would have hoped that Turkey follow the example of democratic countries instead of those … “.
The Foundation for Culture and Arts Istanbul (IKSV) also had projects and has benefited from the program and they have also the backlog. The Director General of IKSV Gorgun Taner said, “the budget of the Ministry of Culture is pleased to 0.5% of the state budget. Creative Europe is a program that would have been advantageous for us, even non-EU members. While resources diminish the culture of the day, such support should not be avoided. “
Fatih Gökhan Diler
Translation Gilbert Béguian
Stéphane © armenews.com