18/07/2014 (Hurriyet – Turkey): An administrative court in Ankara has ordered the Culture Ministry to continue to fund a play staged by one of Turkey’s longest-running private theater troupes, despite its members expressing vocal support for last year’s Gezi protests. The ministry had argued that the Dostlar Tiyatrosu (Friends Theater) group’s application for public funds to stage Nikolai Gogol’s “Diary of a Madman” did not fill the defined “assessment benchmarks,” fueling accusations that the rejection was an arbitrary decision based on the group’s pro-Gezi stance. The decision had drawn public criticism, as Dostlar Tiyatrosu, founded by popular actor Genco Erkal in 1969, remains one of Turkey’s most prestigious theater groups. The court stated in its ruling on July 18 that excluding the troupe from funding was against “the principles of equality and fairness,” and argued that Dostlar Tiyatrosu had made important contributions to the development of the arts. “It is understood that the theater company that filed the lawsuit met many of the required physical and qualitative conditions,” the ruling stated….