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Kurdish diva brokenhearted but resolute in face of language discrimination in Turkey

The "brutal" quashing of Kurdishness in Turkey continues to be state policy — even in entertainment.
Pervin Chakar

The suppression of Kurdish identity in Turkey has claimed yet another victim. Pervin Chakar, a globally acclaimed Kurdish soprano, says she is brokenhearted after a university in her native city of Mardin decided to cancel a concert because she had included a Kurdish-language piece in her repertoire. Never mind that Artuklu was the first-ever Turkish university to launch education in the Kurdish language in 2011, its current administrators apparently reckoned that letting Chakar perform in her mother tongue would be a step too far.

The 37-year-old, who has performed in Milan’s Teatro Alla Scala and Vienna’s Theater an Der Wien, among multiple other premier venues, took to Twitter to pour out her emotions. In a July 30 post, she said, “I am experiencing the sorrow of not being able to perform in my city. One cannot question an artist about which languages are part of their repertoire. This is a crime against humanity.”

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