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Law on State Theatres

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By means of Law 5441 dated 10 June 1949 on the Establishment of State Theatres, which came into force upon being published in the Official Gazette 7234 dated 16 June 1949, and the amendments dated 14 July 1970 the General Directorate of State Theatres, 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. Theatres to be established outside Ankara, if necessary and under appropriate financial, administrative and technical circumstances, are also regulated by this Law. The authority to establish, combine and close down such theatres 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 State Theatres comprises of: 1) a Literary Board, whose duty is to select the repertoire; 2) an Artistic and Administrative Board under the presidency of the General Director, which deals with artistic, technical and other issues; and 3) a Disciplinary Board under the presidency of either the General Director or one of his or her deputies, which deals with disciplinary issues. These Boards take decisions on the basis of a simple majority of the participants at the meetings.

Civil servants employed by State Theatres (ST) are classified as ST artists, ST practice experts and ST experts and are employed according to decisions made by the Artistic and Administrative Board, concluding annual administrative contracts with the General Director. The Artistic and Administrative Board is authorized to determine civil servants’ ranks and increase or decrease their salaries based on their mastery and skills. The Artistic and Administrative Board is both authorized and obliged to examine civil servants before they sign initial administrative contracts with the ST, 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 the Artistic and Technical Boards under the Ankara General Directorate or shall establish their own artistic and administrative boards.