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The National Cancel Show In Turkey Citing Police Violence

Jimmy Haas

by Jimmy Haas

Published June 12, 2013

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The Istanbul Calling festival will have one less performer on June 23. The National have pulled out of performing at the festival, posting their decision on their Facebook page:

"We're sad to report that our Istanbul show has been cancelled. We support the right to peaceful protest and hope that excessive violence by riot police ends quickly. #direngeziparki"

People in Turkey have spent the last two weeks protesting against Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The protest began peacefully, but police countered with a violent crackdown against the protestors, and the violence has only increased since then. Last night, police fired tear gas and water cannons into Taksim Park, a central location of the protests in Istanbul.

Thousands of people have been injured since the protests began, and several have been killed. Erdogan ordered all protestors out of the park today, and it seems unlikely that this will happen peacefully.

As June 23 draws closer, Istanbul Calling is looking like it's going to be difficult to stage at all. Should the violence continue, it stands to reason that other performers will start pulling out as well, if not for the people's safety, then for their own.

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