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Main opposition party Republican People's Party (CHP) Tekirdağ MP Candan Yüceer has submitted a parliamentary inquiry and asked the Speaker of the Parliament İsmail Kahraman whether he prevented women theater players from taking to the stage for a theater play to be staged at parliament.
In the parliamentary inquiry submitted by Yüceer regarding the theater play to be staged at parliament for Dardanelles War commemorations, the following allegations have been shared:
"It has been alleged that before the play started, 'an urgent meeting' was made and it was decided that the women theater players would be prevented from taking to the stage; the women players were made to wait on the stairs behind the audience while the male players were staging the play and they were taken out of Grand National Assembly of Turkey after the end of play.
"There are also other allegations that in the scene where the soldiers and their mothers said goodbye to each other, they were prevented from hugging one another and that the bust and pictures of [Mustafa Kemal] Atatürk were removed with your (İsmail Kahraman's) instructions."
In the parliamentary inquiry, CHP MP Yüceer has also asked the Parliament Speaker Kahraman whether the women theater players were prevented from taking to the stage by Kahraman himself; how many women and men theater players got on stage for the play and why he is uncomfortable with women.
Denouncement from Theater Players Union
In a social media post shared by the Theater Players' Union about the incident, it has been stated, "We refuse to return to the darkness of the Middle Ages."
Women players have spoken out
Speaking to Hüseyin Şimşek from BirGün daily newspaper, theater artist Övgü Özgürce said,
"Since it was done at the last minute, we thought whether it could be some form of agitation and wanted to take to the stage and say our words out of obstinacy, but we could not. It was also their own wish that we would be on the play. They told us that and we had worked for this for days. But, then, they did not want even the pictures of Atatürk. Our 12 minute-play was all of a sudden reduced to 4 minutes. We were forced into waiting at one corner on the stairs and read out our poems from there."
Another woman player who did not wish to give her name said,
"At the end of the play, we did not salute the audience, but they, most probably, did not understand what it was supposed to mean. Most of us cried with anger but we could not resist. There was this moment, when we went down the stairs in our costumes and met İsmail Kahraman. He said, "Lady players will not take to the stage, will they? Well done!" He even joked, so to say, with the players in soldier costumes and asked, 'Which battalion do you belong?' Nobody laughed. His actual intention was to get confirmation." (ÇT/SD)
*Photograph: Haydar Aktaş - Ankara (AA)
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