Police Attacks Turkish Cinema
Film critics and filmmakers attacked by the Turkish police. FIPRESCI member taken in custody.
We are terrified by the fact that our respectable colleague, film critic Berke Göl, member of the FIPRESCI jury at the ongoing Istanbul Film Festival, has been taken in custody by the police today during a meeting organized to protest the demolishment of the historical Emek Theatre, former main venue of the festival. At the news broadcast of television channel Kanal D it is clearly seen that our colleague is almost being strangled by a police officer.
We demand from the authorities the immediate release of Berke Göl and to punish the responsibles of this violent attack against the Turkish film industry and cinephiles.
Among the peaceful protesters unjustly attacked by the police with tear gas and water cannon, simply for insisting to enter the historical building, were Turkey’s leading filmmakers, actors and film critics. Director Costa-Gavras supported them in person right after receiving his Life Time Achievement Award. Acclaimed directors Mike Newell and Marco Bechis also sided with their Turkish colleagues.
Public property Emek Theatre is a part of a historical building block called Cercle d’Orient which is being turned into a shopping mall. Emek Theatre is alleged to be dismantled and carried to a higher level of the shopping mall. But Turkish filmmakers and critics are against the project which does not only destroy the Emek Theatre and changes its concept but also ruins the “Yesilcam Street”, which has given its name to a big part of Turkish film history.
The International Federation of Film Critics
Munich/Istanbul, April 7, 2013
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