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Turkish film festival cancelled over censorship controversy

by tbhdesk

An international film festival in Turkey has been cancelled after controversy over a documentary about judicial purges that followed an attempted coup in 2016, authorities said Friday.

The dispute centres on “The Decree”, a documentary about the plight of a doctor and a teacher affected by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s sweeping crackdown after he survived the failed military coup.

The film was initially selected for Antalya’s “Golden Orange” film festival, but excluded from the competition last week, prompting an outcry from filmmakers who condemned the move as censorship.
The festival’s jury members threatened to pull out if the film was not readmitted and said they “reject the approach that looks for incriminating elements in a film and the normalisation of censorship”.

The organisers gave in and reinstated the film, but it was excluded again after the culture ministry waded in.

“I regret to inform film lovers that we have cancelled our festival, which was set to take place between October 7-14, due to external developments”, the mayor of Antalya said in footage shared on social media.

The Ministry of Culture withdrew its support for the festival, calling it propaganda for the preacher Fethullah Gulen, who Ankara accuses of being behind the coup attempt in 2016.

Source: The Daily SUN.

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