World Bulletin / News Desk
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's daughter Sümeyye Erdoğan and his daughter-in-law were the subject of obscene gestures and verbal insults during an Ankara State Theater play staged in the capital on Friday night.
Sümeyye Erdoğan and her sister-in-law left the theater following the treatment they received from an actor during the play. Apparently exaggerating a famous scene during the play "Genç Osman," actor Tolga Tuncer reportedly made lewd gestures and comments directed at the pair, who were seated in the front row.
A written statement by the General Directorate of State Theaters, who launched an investigation into the incident, revealed that measures will be taken against performers who engage in behavior that distresses and disturbs audience members.
"As the State Theater, we share our regret with all our viewers and the public for the disturbance that ensued from an individual's misconduct during the performance of an artistic production," the statement read.
While on stage, when Tuncer reportedly cut the music and made offensive bodily and hand movements, Sümeyye Erdoğan and her brother's wife left the audience. They were soon followed by nearly 150 police cadets who also protested the vulgarity presented on stage.
The ministry's statement also indicated that an investigation into the distressing incident commenced immediately after the play's end on Friday night.
"It needs to be reiterated that, irrespective of the particular individuals involved, respect for the audience is one of our most important values. For this reason, as has been the case up until now, we will take the necessary measures against the person discovered to have engaged in behavior upsetting to our audience," the report added.
Also responding to the insulting behavior directed at the prime minister's daughter, actors stressed the incident reflected a personal attitude and that such behavior could result in state officials being less supportive of the arts. Theater actor Zihni Göktay, one of the cast of "Lüküs Hayat," describes such behavior as completely unacceptable. "Even if this is the private theater we're talking about, you can't be insulting. Of course you can criticize, but I find the approach wrong.
Performer Ayla Algan agrees. "You can't present your own political views in such a manner. This has no place in arts policy," she said.
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