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Investigations to be launched into critics of presidential online concerts

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Individuals who make critical comments about online concerts by famous Turkish singers organized by the Communications Directorate of the presidential office, will face investigation, according to a statement from the directorate.

The “İstanbul Yeditepe Concerts” are broadcast from the YouTube channel of the presidential office as regular concerts cannot currently take place due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The first series of the concerts was aired this week in which mostly pro-government singers performed. During a performance by Turkish popstar Ajda Pekkan on June 8, some Twitter users pointed to the low number of viewers, around 4,500 by the end of the night.

Given the fact that the presidential office has paid around TL 30 million for the organization of the concerts at a time when the government has launched a donation campaign for people affected by the pandemic, the presidential office has come under criticism

Journalist Timur Soykan tweeted that Pekkan must have received at least TL 200,000 for the concert, which drew as few as 345 viewers at its beginning.

 “They are wasting public money,” he said.

In the wake of the criticism, the Communications Directorate released a statement warning that legal action will be taken against people who make baseless claims about the concerts and are engaged in perception management operations against them.

The statement said more than 5,000 people including singers, musicians and others are involved in efforts for the production of the concerts.

A total of 60 singers will perform for the “İstanbul Yeditepe Concerts,” which take place in the Kuruçeşme neighborhood of İstanbul.

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