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Turkish composer says he was denied award for supporting opposition hashtag

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Renowned Turkish composer and musician Cahit Berkay has revealed that he was denied an award for which he was nominated, claiming that the move was due to his support for an opposition social media campaign, the Diken news website reported on Saturday.

The 72-year-old Berkay was initially invited to accept his award at an event by SE-SAM, a professional association of cinematographers.

He was later told by phone that his award would be bestowed at another event in two months’ time on the pretext that “there would not be enough time for acceptance speeches.”

“I would never put the people who invited me in a tight spot. Our friends at SE-SAM would see that, too, if they hadn’t disinvited me,” Berkay tweeted.

“To know that this tweet is why they backed off from giving me an award is both saddening and worrying,” he added, quoting one of his previous tweets from Tuesday in which he had reacted to a decision by Turkey’s Supreme Election Board (YSK) to cancel the results of the İstanbul mayoral election.

“I have received the YSK’s decision with sorrow, and I’m following what’s going on with concern,” his tweet read, ending with the hashtag #herşeyçokgüzelolacak, meaning “Everything is going to be OK,” which became an opposition slogan after Ekrem İmamoğlu used it in a statement where he called on everyone to join the political conversation after the cancellation of his victory over the ruling party in İstanbul.

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