Turkey: Two mayors ban Kurdish director’s film


Two Turkish mayors have imposed bans on Kurdish director Mahsun Kırmızıgül’s latest film  ‘Vezir Parmağı’ because they say it “undermines national and spiritual values” and the is considered to be a Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) “sympathiser”, reported Hurriyet Daily News on 2 February 2017.

Anamur district mayor Mehmet Ture said he wouldn’t let a film by a “PKK sympathiser” be screened in his district.

“As long as I am around, a film like ‘Vezir Parmağı’ or something similar by someone like Mahsun Kırmızıgül will never hit the screens within the boundaries of Anamur,” Ture said. “It is impossible for artists like Mahsun Kırmızıgül, artists who sympathise with the PKK, to interact with the public in Anamur.”

Government officials and pro-government media began labelling the director as a PKK sympathiser in 2015 after he posted a series of critical tweets during fighting between government forces and PKK units in Diyarbakir’s Sur district, where the director is from.

Develi mayor Mehmet Cabbar said the film would “absolutely not be screened in cinema theatres” in the municipality, reported Middle East Eye on 31 January2017.

“The trailers of this film, which are being shown in the media, are contrary to our national spiritual values and contain scenes that literally make fun of our ancestors,” Cabbar said.

Kırmızıgül’s film tells the story of a village in Ottoman times where the men of the village disappeared and never returned. After nearly two decades the women in the village need help to start a new life and the vizier, a high official in Ottoman times, decides to send five men of different ethnic origins to the village. While the five men take to the road toward the village, the women await their arrival.


Photo: Section of ‘Vezir Parmağı’ film poster


Sources

» Turkish Minute – 3 February 2017
Second mayor bans Turkish movie for contradicting national, spiritual values

» Hurriyet Daily News – 2 February 2017
District mayors ban Turkish director Kırmızıgül’s new film

» Middle East Eye – 31 January 2017
Turkish districts ban film by Kurdish ’traitor’ director


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» 9 September 2016: Turkey: Recent reports paint grim picture for artistic freedom

» 8 April 2016: Turkey: Actress’ contract cancelled over interview comments

» 28 October 2015: Turkey: Tensions between film festivals and government take toll

» 25 August 2015: Turkey: Festival director steps down after censorship scandal

» 3 May 2015: Turkey: Young Kurdish singer imprisoned

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