The opening of the "8th Frankfurt Turkish Theater Festival (Türkisches Theaterfestival Frankfurt)," which hosts important names and works of Turkish theater every year, was held at Gallus Theater.
Greeting the theatergoers at the opening, Frankfurt Consul General Erdem Tunçer stated that the festival has now become a tradition and he is happy to be at the opening.
Noting that the festival has enriched the cultural life of Frankfurt, Tunçer said: "(Festival) allows theatergoers living in the state of Hessen to watch the newest and most outstanding examples of Turkish theater live. This enables Turkish theater actors to communicate with their interlocutors and their audiences in Germany. On the other hand, our theater festival also contributes to Frankfurt's multiculturalism and diversity."
Russelsheim Municipality Council President Jens Grode, Istanbul State Theatre General Artistic Director Ayşegül İşsever, and actors and prominent names from the world of business, art, and politics in Frankfurt attended the opening.
Erdem Tunçer also said that with the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, they presented the photography exhibition titled "The Beauties of Turkey" to art lovers to add visual richness to the festival.
President of the Frankfurt Provincial Assembly Hilime Aslaner pointed out that the festival team prepares the event voluntarily every year and said: "I would like to appreciate the great success of the theater team in bringing Turkish language and culture to the Rhine-Main region without interruption."
Noting that only 50,000 people of Turkish origin live in Frankfurt, Aslaner added: “There are two important reasons why Turkish theater is and should be a permanent element of the cultural life of this region. First, it is important for those whose first and family language is Turkish. They do not lose the connection with their languages and Turkish society's developments. Because theater piece is a mirror of the social texture of the language in which it is written and the questions and problems of that country."
"Secondly, people of Turkish descent experience Turkish theater in the middle of Frankfurt as a kind of cultural recognition. I can say this because that's exactly how I feel. Then, Turkish becomes the language of intercultural discourse, the language of the stage, beyond being just the language of the lands we come from, our family, and our daily language. It increases self-confidence and strengthens the perception of being accepted into the society we live in and is an important and indispensable part of it. Our language, our culture belongs here. We existed at the 60th anniversary of the labor contract between Germany and Turkey, not only with our workforce but also with our culture. I am very happy that there are spectators here today, apart from people of Turkish origin. Theater Frankfurt team prepared a cover letter for us to be understood by everyone," she said.
Tamer Levent, honorary president of the festival, said: "The Frankfurt Turkish Theater Festival has been going on for eight years. The first five years are important for such festivals. But eight years proves that it has come of age. We know that people experience many different things in the century we live in. It is necessary to create a new way of thinking by telling them through theatre."
Emphasizing that the festival provides the integration of Turks and Germans, Levent said: "This year's performance at the Gallus Theater is a very concrete example of this cooperation. I believe that new plays can be written with new ideas. I think that, in addition to the plays coming from Turkey, a joint play can be made that will be played by Turkish and German actors, and even written by Turkish and German writers."
The festival, supported by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, the Ministry of Science and Culture of the German Hessen State, the Presidency for Turks Abroad and Related Communities (YTB), the Turkish Consulate General in Frankfurt, and Turkish Airlines, will continue with various workshops, interviews and play screenings until June 8.