Sign In / Up

Add contribution as a guest

Your email will not be displayed publicly
Benefit of signing in/signing up to personalize comment

Comment as a guest

Your email will not be displayed publicly
Benefit of signing in/signing up to personalize comment

Login

Not a member Register   Forgot Password
or connect using
 

Email

 

Rudaw

Culture & Art

Rights organizations defend Turkish filmmakers jailed for PKK documentary

By Rudaw 30/5/2018
A screenshot of female PKK fighters from the movie trailer for 'Bakur.'
A screenshot of female PKK fighters from the movie trailer for 'Bakur.'

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — More than 40 human rights, film and cultural organizations defended imprisoned Turkish filmmakers Cayan Demirel and Ertugrul Mavioglu for their 2015 PKK documentary, 'Bakur' (North).


"We, the undersigned cultural and human rights organizations, call upon the Public Prosecutor's Office of Batman to drop charges immediately against filmmakers Cayan Demirel and Ertugrul Mavioglu and to cease efforts to criminalize the film and its makers," the letter dated May 28 read as reported by Reporters Without Borders, one of the signatories.

Demirel and Mavioglu were seen in a Batman court on Tuesday.

"The upcoming court proceeding against Demirel and Mavioğlu comes at a time when artists, academics and journalists in Turkey are being criminalized in alarming numbers for the peaceful exercise of their free speech," the letter continued.

Demirel and Mavioglu were able to give their defenses in front of a Batman court on Tuesday, however court proceedings were adjourned until October 23 to further review their case.

Bakur was due to be screened at the Istanbul film Festival mid-April 2015, but was cancelled at the last minute by the Ministry of Culture.

That quickly turned into a censorship row, after other filmmakers whose works were being screened at the festival decided to pull their entries in protest.

In addition, more than 100 Turkish filmmakers, including the winner of the Cannes film festival's Palme d'Or award, Nuri Bilge Ceylan, signed a letter objecting to censorship at the festival.

The Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV), which organized the April 4-19 festival in 2015, defended their decision by stating that "Bakur" was pulled because of a special clause invoked by the culture ministry stating that the film did not have the required official registration certificate to be shown.

Bakur has already been screened at several film festivals worldwide from 2015 to 2016.

If convicted in October, the already-jailed filmmakers face up to five years in prison.

"Journalism is not a crime to make cinematography," Mavioglu said in his defense in front of the Batman judge as reported by Turkish state news agency Evrensel. "We will continue to defend and defend peace, not death with Bakur."

The PKK is a banned political party in Turkey and designated as a terrorist organization. It has fought a nearly four-decade long guerrilla on-and-off war against the Turkish state, seeking greater cultural, political, and minority rights in the country. They are headquartered in the mountainous Qandil Region on the borders of Iran, Iraq, and Turkey.

Comments

 
Post a New Comment
Comment as a guest or Login for more enhanced interactive experience

Be Part of Your Rudaw!

Share your stories, photos and videos with Rudaw, and quite possibly the world.

What You Say

No feast | 6/19/2018 1:47:39 AM
With Kerkuk and Afrin under occupation ,there is no feasts for Kurds, let alone any muslem festivities .Rudaw, stop reporting about feasts and islam,...
IDPs mark Eid al-Fitr holiday in Baharka Camp
| yesterday at 11:34 | (1)
RC | 6/18/2018 9:58:32 PM
The true story is this: They were chased by the police when they noticed that the licence plates on the minivan they dove were false. They fled at...
OutWithDumbPoliticalCorrectness | 6/18/2018 11:13:59 PM
Funny how everything is now a matter of racism, fascism or Nazism, you may want to look up the meaning of those words. If the driver of the van...
Kurdish family wants answers after 2-year-old killed in Belgian police chase
| 22/5/2018 | (9)
Outsider | 6/18/2018 10:13:52 PM
I could imagine, both, Erdogan and Malazgirt are not telling the whole truth...
PKK denies casualties following Turkish weekend assault on Qandil
| yesterday at 05:54 | (1)
Freeman | 6/18/2018 9:03:12 PM
KDP must have Iraqi president post. As we know KDP has won most seats among Kurdish political parties. KDP can represent Kurds and Kurdistan Region...
Speechless!!!! | 6/18/2018 9:35:52 PM
speechless!!!!
‘In politics, you cannot close doors’: KDP open to talks
| 15/6/2018 | (5)

Elsewhere on Rudaw

Most French firms ‘won’t be able to stay’ in Iran: minister 13 hours ago |

Most French firms ‘won’t be able to stay’ in Iran: minister

“The US should not be the planet’s economic more
UN envoy to Syria meets Astana guarantors for Geneva talks 13 hours ago |

UN envoy to Syria meets Astana guarantors for Geneva talks

Plans for Syria's post-war constitution are up more
Turkey’s opposition CHP offers Kurds deputy presidency 14 hours ago |

Turkey’s opposition CHP offers Kurds deputy presidency

"One of the deputy presidents would definitely be more
0.172 seconds