‘Cinema for Peace’ urges Turkish gov’t to halt censorship, oppression in Berlinale

A group of filmmakers of Turkey, who came together in the 67th Berlin Film Festival (Berlinale) in Berlin, Germany, has called Turkish government to halt censorship, oppression, rights violations.

A group of filmmakers from Turkey, who came together in the 67th Berlin Film Festival (Berlinale) in Berlin, Germany, has called Turkish government to halt censorship, oppression, rights violations under the state of emergency which was declared in wake of the coup attempt on July 15, 2016.

According to a report by bianet.org, the filmmakers of Turkey have also urged their colleagues all over the world to raise their voices up as a show of solidarity against censorship, oppression and war politics in Turkey. As a part of a global initiative called the Cinema for Peace, the group of filmmakers has released a declaration in Berlin as an “urgent call for solidarity.”

Saying that the Turkish government has declared a war to all who are standing against the ongoing state of oppression, censorship, injustice and the ones who are calling for peace in Turkey, the group of filmmakers stated that “Thereupon rights and freedoms have been violated under the conditions of the State of Emergency. Academics who call for peace and civil servants have been removed and banned from their public service positions, while journalists and politicians have been arrested and put in prison. Filmmakers took their share from this pressure by being blacklisted and their artistic facilities have been subjected to heavy constraints.”

The group has concluded the statement with a call by saying “We, the filmmakers of Turkey, who came together in the 67th Berlin Film Festival, are behind our very first call for peace. Therefore, we are calling for support from our colleagues all over the world to rise up the solidarity against censorship, oppression and war politics”.

The Cinema for Peace Foundation endeavors to promote worldwide peace and understanding through the support of cinematographic works, and to further develop the goals and activities established by the Cinema for Peace initiative and annual Gala. According to the initiative, films play a significant role in highlighting inequality, injustice and inhumanity, as well as can offer a hope and vision for a better future. This being the primary reason why the Cinema for Peace Foundation works to provide an internationally recognizable and easily accessible platform for promoting human rights values, both in the first world and in afflicted countries.

The initiative’s annual award show that takes place in Berlin, and honors the most valuable films of the year focused on human and social rights, the fight for justice, and environmental sustainability.

In a currently ongoing post-coup purge in Turkey, over 135,000 people, including thousands within the military, have been purged due to their real or alleged connection to the Gülen movement, according to a statement by the labor minister on Jan. 10. As of Feb. 1, 89,775 people were being held without charge, with an additional 43,885 in pre-trial detention. Arrestees include journalists, judges, prosecutors, police and military officers, academics, governors, musicians, artists and even a comedian.

Feb. 15, 2017.

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