Turkish Culture Ministry stops funding women’s film festival

The Turkish Culture and Tourism Ministry has pulled its funding from an Ankara woman’s film festival after 20 years of support, Çiçek Tahaoğlu reported for the Bianet independent news website.

The ministry’s cinematic commission said in a statement that it found supporting the Flying Broom International Women’s Film Festival “inappropriate.”

Flying Broom responded by saying the show would go on. “Despite all obstacles, all pressure and constraints, we will continue not for 21 years, or 51 years, but for 61 years,” the organising committee said. “We are awaiting the reasoning of the ministry.”

The 21st Flying Broom International Women’s Film Festival took place May 10–17 and featured 62 films and 17 special events. Among the guests at the festival was New Zealand’s first female prime minister, Helen Clark. The festival aims to make women’s contributions to cinema visible and to support the work of young talents in the field.

Meanwhile, the authors of a children’s book that explains the process of evolution say their work is being censored by Turkey’s largest book store chain, D&R, after the company was sold to the Demirören Group, known for its close relations to Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), the leftist online news outlet SoL reported.

Seçkin Eroğlu and Deniz Hasret state that their book ‘Bilbi ile Evrimi Öğreniyorum’ (I’m learning about evolution with Bilbi) is reported as being ‘’out of stock’’ by D&R, despite confirmation from suppliers that the book remains available.

Author Eroğlu noted that a customer service representative with D&R explained that top management decides which books are to be sold. “We believe that our book, which is sold online with no problems, has been removed from D&R shelves because of the company’s new owners,” Eroğlu said.

In March, Turkey’s Doğan Media Group, the country’s largest media organisation, was sold to the pro-government Demirören Group. Currently, 90 percent of the Turkish media is under government control. (SCF with Ahval)

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