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Law on State Opera and Ballet

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By means of Law 1309 dated  14 July 1970 on the Establishment of General Directorate of State Opera and Ballet, which came into force upon publication in the Official Gazette 13557 dated  23 July 1970, the General Directorate of State Opera and Ballet, affiliated to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, was established in Ankara as a legal entity. The Law regulates the administrative and artistic operation of the institution as well as classification and salaries of official staff. Directorates to be established outside Ankara, if necessary and under appropriate financial, administrative and technical conditions, are also regulated by this Law. The authority to establish, combine and close down such directorates rests with the General Directorate, and the General Directorate may either employ artists or expert staff under the supervision of a director, preferably a production director, under such directorates, or transfer artists or expert staff to those directorates from the centre, and such staff may take part in the tours to be organized.

The administrative structure of the State Opera and Ballet comprises three bodies: the Artistic Board, which shall offer assistance to the General Director and Directors on artistic matters and provide opinions on the repertoire; the Technical Board, which will examine and evaluate staff and trainees to be hired, send staff abroad to improve their knowledge and culture, and send abroad for treatment those State Opera and Ballet staff whose condition of health is such that they cannot be treated in Turkey; and lastly, the Disciplinary Board operating under the presidency of the General Director or one of the Deputy Directors.

Civil servants employed by the State Opera and Ballet (SOB) are classified as SOB artists, SOB practice experts and SOB experts and are employed at the discretion of the Technical Board. The Technical Board is authorized to determine civil servants’ ranks and increase or decrease their salaries based on their mastery and skills. The Technical Board is both authorized and obliged to examine civil servants before they sign initial administrative contracts with the SOB, identify those artists known for their outstanding achievement on stage, who will be exempt from examinations, and calculate annual per-diems to be paid to the staff on tour.

Besides the general power and authority that rest with the General Directorate in Ankara, the Law, the greater part of which was amended in 1970, is observed to provide artistic and technical boards with considerable operational authority and liability. The Law does not state clearly whether the theatres to be established in other provinces shall be affiliated to Artistic and Technical Boards under the Ankara General Directorate or shall establish their own artistic and administrative boards.