Theatre and Human Rights
Velda, Kerim, İpek - Belonging Trilogy

Birielri Theatre 2023 Belonging Trilogy
© Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was proclaimed on 10 December 1948 at the 183rd session of the United Nations General Assembly held in Paris. Despite its long-standing presence in our lives, questions remain about how much it is internalised by society and applied in practice. The aim is to consider fundamental rights and freedoms as the primary concern. Civil Production has launched a long-term project called Birileri, inspired by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The project, designed by İlyas Özçakır, focuses on making human rights-oriented projects using the empathy power of theatre through fictional stories.

The 'Birileri' project aims to bring the printed Declaration to life by having 30 actors perform 30 fictional stories, each written by a different author for each article.

The project premiered its third trilogy, 'Belonging Trilogy' featuring Velda, Kerim, and İpek, at Adana Büyükşehir Şehir Tiyatroları Sahnesi on September 8, 2023.

The third trilogy of the Birileri project explores the power of art in promoting human rights.

The Birileri project's third installment features three plays, 'Velda,' 'Kerim,' and 'İpek,' that explore the theme of belonging through the stories of 30 fictional characters. The plays are based on Articles 2, 6, and 13 of the Declaration. The aim is to perform this trilogy in the earthquake-stricken region affected by the February 2023 earthquake. Director Canan Günaştı from Adana conducted rehearsals for the play in collaboration with three local actors. The play premiered at Adana Büyükşehir Şehir Tiyatroları Sahnesi on September 8-9, 2023, and was performed three more times on different stages in Adana. The play was accepted to the 27th Istanbul Theater Festival, organized by IKSV (Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts). It made a guest appearance at the Alan Kadıköy Stage on November 9-10 as part of the festival. A special performance with a crew interview is planned for this trilogy on the occasion of Human Rights Day, as is the tradition every year.

Birileri Theatre 2023 - Velda, Kerim and Ipek

Velda, Kerim and İpek

© Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom


Article 2: Everyone has the right to the rights and freedoms listed in this Declaration. These rights should be available to everyone, regardless of their race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinions, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.

Velda was born and raised in the district of Tarsus in Mersin and migrated to Europe years ago. She returns to Tarsus to visit her childhood home, which is on the verge of collapsing. She embarks on a journey through her memories, including an unforgettable one about her closest friend, Mine, from secondary school. The story of these two friends, who never spent a day apart, takes on another dimension when Mine's mother tells her that she needs to end her friendship with Velda. This is because Mine's family is Sunni Turkish, while Velda's family is Arab Alevi.

Birileri Theatre 2023 - Velda


© Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom


Article 6: Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law

Kerim is employed by a private company in Europe and is required to periodically submit documents proving his innocence to the immigration office before visiting Turkey. Unfortunately, his appointment has been postponed due to a system glitch. Kerim has to go to Turkey the next day for his mother's funeral.

Birileri Theatre 2023 - Kerim


© Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom


1.Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each State.

2.Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.

İpek, a white-collar employee with a temporary employment contract, is at the airport preparing to enter a European country. While waiting in the passport control line, she considers which officer to choose. She fears that despite having a visa, the officer may reject her entry into the country. During this anxious wait, she alternates between dreaming of a happy future and feeling homesick.


The Belonging Trilogy, which explores the three articles of the Declaration through fictional characters, will be performed on various stages in Adana and Istanbul throughout the season.