Appeals court overturns sentences of directors of documentary about PKK

News About Turkey - NAT
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The documentary and the trial

The 92-minute documentary entitled, “Bir Gerilla Belgeseli: BAKUR” (A Guerilla Documentary: BAKUR (North)), which was directed by the journalist Ertuğrul Mavioğlu and director Çayan Demirel and produced by Ayşe Çetinbaş, starts with the retreat call by the PKK’s (Kurdistan Workers’ Party) imprisoned Leader Abdullah Öcalan during the Newroz celebrations in Turkey’s southeastern province of Diyarbakır on March 21, 2013.

The documentary was planned to be screened under the category of non-competitive films at the İstanbul Film Festival. However, the İstanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV) canceled the screening of the documentary. As a justification for the cancellation, the foundation referred to the letter of warning sent by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism on April 11 regarding the “registration document” of the documentary.

On the day, when the documentary would be screened but prevented by the censorship of the İKSV, the viewers gathered in front of the Atlas Cinema in İstanbul and held a forum instead of the documentary screening.

After the forum, the filmmakers made a joint statement for the press and the crews of the films, “Nefesim Kesilene Kadar” (Until I Lose My Breath) and “Homo Politicus” implemented the boycott decision.

Two years after the documentary was screened, a lawsuit was filed against the two directors of the documentary Ertuğrul Mavioğlu and Çayan Demirel as well as Dicle Anter, who was responsible for the screening of the documentary in the province of Batman, on the charge of “propagandizing for a terrorist organization”.

In the indictment issued by the Prosecutor Ömer İlhan, it has been demanded that journalist and filmmaker Mavioğlu and director Demirel and Anter be tried as per the Anti-Terror Law Article No. 7/2.


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