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The Nilüfer District Municipality in the northwest of Turkey’s Bursa has announced the cancellation of the upcoming Nilüfer Music Festival, which was scheduled to take place in September.
The decision to cancel the festival came in response to a ban imposed by the Bursa Governorate on camping and alcohol sales at the event.
Turgay Erdem, the Mayor of Nilüfer and a member of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), along with CHP Bursa deputies Hasan Öztürk and Kayıhan Pala, made a statement at the Balat Atatürk Forest, where the festival was planned to take place.
The mayor emphasized, “Last year, a similar decision was made, and we resisted. Eventually, the camping ban was lifted. This festival is a camping event that contributes to the promotion of Bursa. It’s a festival that has set an example worldwide.”
“It’s an eagerly awaited experience for the youth. Those who wish to camp can participate, forging new friendships through workshops. Amidst the challenges of crises, they immerse themselves in nature’s embrace, supported by music. We are engaged in an endeavor that leaves everyone with happiness.”
“Interference with our way of life”
“We welcomed 300,000 participants and hosted 30,000 tented guests. We never encountered any problems. Even law enforcement thanked us due to the absence of issues. This is an interference with our way of life,” Erdem further said.
“Many young people from both domestic and international locales were excited to attend. Spaces for young people to breathe are being eradicated. We protest this. We have decided to cancel the festival. We will refund the money for sold tickets. We will continue to fight for our cause within the bounds of the law.”
The Nilüfer Music Festival was set to feature popular musicians and bands such as Duman, Hayko Cepkin, Büyük Ev Ablukada, Dolu Kadehi Ters Tut, Motive, Hey! Douglas, Malt, and Soft Analog.
Over the past two years, numerous concerts and music festivals have been banned in Turkey. Some of these bans followed protests and pressures from various religious and conservative groups. Among the musicians whose concerts were banned were those known for their public opposition to the government, as well as Kurdish musicians. The authorities mostly cite “public order” reasons for the bans. (HA/VK)