International Freedom of Expression 2014 Arts Award Nominee and renowned Turkish playwright and novelist Meltem Arikan will answer your questions via @MeltemArikan on Wednesday 12th March from 14:00 – 14:30 GMT – follow the whole conversation at @IndexCensorship.
In 2013, the Gezi Park protests saw a venting of frustration by many against what they see as the increasingly authoritarian rule of Prime Minister Erdogan’s AK party.
The protests were preceded by the run of Meltem Arikan’s play ‘Mi Minor’ in Istanbul from December 2012 to April 2013. Mi Minor used role play and social media to tell the story of a pianist using technology to struggle against the regime in a fictional land called Pimina. In the month after the play ended, protests erupted in Gezi Park with social media playing a key role.
Arikan, already a prominent writer, found herself accused of fomenting rebellion and faced a co-ordinated campaign of abuse online from government supporters. She told Index on Censorship: “When I was researching for Mi Minor [in 2011] I did everything I could so that the play wasn’t associated with Turkey, or the particular situation of Turkish politics, or any other actual country. It was a fictional dystopia. Mi Minor is an absurd play and it is too worrying to see how absurdity can be accused of being responsible for the reality of what happened in Gezi Park.”
Forced to flee because of the resulting pressures, Meltem Arikan now lives in the United Kingdom.
This event takes place on Wednesday 7 March at 2pm GMT. Tweet your questions @MeltemArikan, join the conversation @IndexCensorship and have your say with the hashtags #MeltemArikan and #IndexAwards2014.