Children’s drama banned for being anti-war

A regional education administration in Turkey has banned publicity and production of a children’s play, “Environmentalist Rascals”, at local schools for being “anti-war and anti-violence”, the Turkish newspaper Cumhuriyet reports.

The educational authorities in the Akhisar district in western Turkey sent the order to a teacher’s union leader, giving the reason that one of the characters in the play expressed “anti-war” sentiments, while another voiced opinions that were “against violence”.

The order, shared on Twitter by journalist Erk Acarer, said that a play with an anti-war theme would be “problematic” during the “sensitive period” Turkey is going through, referring to the ongoing Turkish military operation in northwest Syria.

The Turkish government has shown little tolerance for dissent since the start of the war. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan called the Turkish Doctor’s Union “terrorist-lovers” for releasing a statement calling war a “man-made public health problem”, shortly before police detained the union’s central committee.