TODAY’S – Maestro Gurer Aykal responds to piano festival criticism

Maestro Gurer Aykal responds to piano festival criticismTurkish conductor Gurer Aykal announced on Thursday that his dedication to art is not related to political parties, governments or individuals, in response to a volley of criticism he received after being appointed the new artistic director of the Antalya Piano Festival following the resignation of classical pianist FazIl Say from the post for political reasons.Aykal noted in a press release that his duty is to bring together, not to separate, and added that he will continue to carry out his duty proudly until he dies.

Say criticized Aykal in a post on his personal Facebook account last week, sarcastically commenting that it is nice for Aykal to be able to expand the festival that Say was forced to resign from managing, and to plan the festival with Antalya Mayor Menderes Turel of the Justice and Development Party (AK Party).A crisis emerged regarding the future of the festival when Say expressed his disapproval of comments Turel made about him in April.

The mayor had said he was not interested in Say’s political ideas and that what is important is his friendship. Say responded that no AK Party member could be his friend since he had been unjustly given a 10-month suspended prison sentence on charges of insulting Islamic religious values in comments he had made on TwitterAfter that exchange, the mayor commented that they would see what Say’s attitude about the festival, which will mark its 15th year in the autumn, would be, adding that the event could continue without Say.

The mayor’s comment sparked debate about the issue, and Say, along with his manager Kadir Dursun, who was also an important name for the festival, as he had been involved with it since its foundation, resigned from their posts.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman