Cameri theater cancels Turkey show after Islamic threats

Actor says activists made calls to oppose play; radical Islamic rallies for Marmara anniversary, Nakba Day threaten performance.

Cameri Theater cast 311 (photo credit: Elitzur Reuveni)
Cameri Theater cast 311
(photo credit: Elitzur Reuveni)
The Cameri Theater was forced to cancel its play You Shook My Heart in Antalya after radical Islamic protesters threatened to disrupt the performance, Israeli Ambassador to Turkey Gabby Levy said on Sunday.
Levy called on the troupe to cancel the play following warnings from Turkish authorities that protests could break out in the theater.
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Company director Noam Semel told Army Radio that he canceled the play because he could not endanger the 21-person crew. Semel said he had held performances abroad at least 100 times and could not remember an incident like this.
Rami Baruch, who plays a referee in the play, told Army Radio that the company was concerned about a group of people who bought tickets in bulk.
“These are people whose intentions are not innocent. There were calls on many websites to gather and oppose this specific play.”
On the dates of the performance a number of radical Islamic and anti-Israel demonstrations are expected to be held, Baruch explained. "In the coming days, the anniversary rally for the [Turkish Mavi] Marmara flotilla will be held, and apparently some relatives of those injured on the flotilla live in the city," he said. "In addition to this, Nakba Day and [assassinated Hezbollah terrorist Imad] Mughniyeh also interfered in the incident."
Along with Nakba and the Mavi Marmara raid anniversary day, there is also the upcoming general elections in Turkey next month.
“A demonstration in support of a radical Muslim party is expected to be held right in front of the theater,” Baruch said.
“According to estimates, about 5,000 people are expected to attend the rally, and there is a risk that people will come from the rally to the theater.
“Several days ago, the rest of the actors and I joked about a targeted assassination attempt against us,” Baruch said.
“Of course we said it humorously, since we relied on the embassy’s management. We trusted that they were doing their jobs properly. Apparently when we arrived here, the threats became worse. It’s too bad, because we simply wanted to bring love.”