Touring in Turkey
Touring in Turkey requires flexibility and an experienced Turkish partner: nothing is standardized, permissions are sometimes hard to get and sometimes not necessary at all. Touring requires awareness about where something can be done and when. A sense of timing, holidays, Ramadan, people’s attitudes towards theater, a balance between auto-censorship and freedom, these all play a role in managing to perform somewhere in Turkey. Universities are important because university cities are more open to let independent theatre projects perform. Other ideas/plans for touring Turkey that people in the Netherlands talked about are:
People in coastal areas of Turkey are more open to new influences than inland ones (I am aware this is a coarse generalization). Both the Netherlands and Turkey have a lot of shoreline and ports. Any set-up on a boat that could travel between Turkey and the Netherlands would be able to reach Turkish audiences that sometimes would be hard to reach over land.
Buses are the most common (national) form of transport and buses lower the threshold for normal people to engage with an art project (Ayşegül of K2: as experienced in the ‘Port Istanbul’ project in Izmir). There are a few long distance train trajectories (with sleeping cabins) in Turkey which go all the way from one end of the country to the other.
There is an interest from the Netherlands to tour Turkey, but nobody did it yet. With the help of the state theatre organization and a budget to make it possible, it should be a good experience to try and do it in 2012 so that after 2012 people know how it is done.