Actor Rutkay Aziz: We have been denied the use of theater halls

“The current government is an enemy of every branch of art and culture. We witness that every day. We are either being denied theater halls or asked for very high rents. In order for us not to rent them, owners sometimes even come up with excuses, saying the halls are being cleaned or painted,” Aziz said on Wednesday.

The veteran actor also criticized the arrest of Cumhuriyet Editor-In-Chief Can Dundar and the paper’s Ankara representative Erdem Gul, saying that there is no longer justice in the country.

“Erdem and Can are still behind bars. The Nokta magazine editor-in-chief [Cevheri Guven] is also behind bars. The injustice goes on,” Aziz stated.

Dundar and Gul were arrested on Nov. 26 as part of a terrorism investigation and accused of membership in a terror organization, espionage and revealing confidential documents — charges that could see them spend life in prison.

The investigation was launched after Cumhuriyet published photos in May of weapons which it said were transferred to Syria in trucks operated by the National Intelligence Organization (MİT).

If tried and found guilty on the charges, the sentence for being a member of a terrorist organization can be as long as 10 years, while that for espionage can be up to 20 years. Revealing confidential government documents carries the longest sentence of all the charges — life imprisonment.