Just three days ahead of Anadolu Fest a large music festival that was to be held in Turkey's Eskişehir province, the local governor office announced that all events, including sit-ins, concerts, festivals, and demonstrations will be canceled from May 10–25 in order to “ensure public order and public security, prevent crime, protect others’ rights and freedoms and prevent the spread of violence.” While the statement did not specifically mention the upcoming music festival, the event falls under the calendar days mentioned in the statement. In response, music festival organizer Serdar Can said they will appeal the governor's announcement in administrative court, adding that the festival already sold around 10,000 tickets. The sudden decision of the local governor's office led to a public outcry online, with #FestivalimeDokunma [Don't touch my festival] trending briefly on Twitter.
After months of planning, a music festival featuring Yeni Türkü, Deniz Tekin, and others was going to begin in Eskişehir on Thursday. But a last-minute decision by the provincial governor banned all events in an attempt, it seems, to stop this festival. #FestivalimeDokunma https://t.co/pEoqHy6dDV
— Kenan Behzat Sharpe (@kenan_sharpe) May 10, 2022
The Anadolu Fest was intended to be the largest gathering in the province since the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020. The four-day event was set to begin on May 12 and would feature countless of Turkey's best-known singers. In a separate statement issued by Anadolu Fest, the organizers said they were shocked by the governor's decision, especially after the festival applied for and was granted the necessary permissions:
Eskişehir Valiliğinin bugün çıkardığı "Yasaklama Kararı" yaşam tarzına müdahaledir. Gençlerin eğlenmesinin önüne geçmek için özel olarak çıkarılmış bir karardır. Pandeminin başından beri zor durumda kalan müzik sektörüne yeni bir darbedir. #FestivalimeDokunma https://t.co/oztrgCt3a8
— Kazım KURT (@CHPKAZIMKURT) May 9, 2022
Pandemi süreci ve ekonomik kriz sebebiyle farklı şehirlerde yaşayan insanların sevdiği sanatçıları dinleme imkanı yeterince zor iken, yapılacak olan bir festivalin yasaklanması sanatçılara, sahne emekçilerine ve müzik severlere büyük bir haksızlıktır, ayıptır.#FestivalimeDokunma https://t.co/Lph65PK3i7
— Dengin Ceyhan (@CeyhanDengin) May 10, 2022
Valilik sanat ve kültür etkinliklerini ne sanıyor?
Ülke yangın yeriyken sevinçler yaratmak için, hayatı renklere boyamaya,
şarkılarla,şiirlerle bezemeye neden yasak koyuyor?
— orhan aydın (@orhanaydin6) May 9, 2022
Ben de bu festivalde konser verecektim Perşembe günü.
Az önce haber aldım izin verilmediğini.
Şimdi hemen yetkililerle görüşeceğim.
Keşke böyle bir durum için yetkililerle görüşmek zorunda kalmasak 🙁 https://t.co/hszQ1H2g16
— Haluk Levent (@haluklevent) May 9, 2022
I too was going to perform at the festival on Thursday. I just heard that the festival was not allowed. I will immediately speak with the local authorities. I wish we did not have to speak with the authorities about this situation.