Turkey’s Culture and Tourism Ministry on Sept. 28 withdrew from the 60th Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival after the reinstatement of a documentary to the selection.
The film “Kanun Hükmü” (“The Decree”) was previously removed from the program on the grounds that the judicial process was continuing against a person in the documentary.
The film focuses on two of the thousands of civil servants who were dismissed from their positions by decree laws under the state of emergency declared after the coup attempt in 2016.
Following the removal, several directors, producers, and jury members withdrew from the festival.
Festival’s director Ahmet Boyacıoğlu on Sept. 28 announced that they decided to include the film in the selection “since it has been documented to us that the trial process regarding the person featured in the documentary film is not continuing.”
After the move, the Culture and Tourism Ministry released a statement, announcing their withdrawal from the festival.
“It is extremely sad that in such an important festival, the power of art is used to make propaganda for the FETÖ terrorist organization through the perception of victimization. Our Ministry will not be a part of the effort to discredit the epic struggle of our beloved nation on July 15 (against the failed coup attempt) and to use art as an element of provocation. For this reason, we have withdrawn from the Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival,” the statement said.
60. Antalya Altın Portakal Film Festivali'nde FETÖ terör örgütü propagandası yapılmasına vesile olunması son derece üzücüdür.— T.C. Kültür ve Turizm Bakanlığı (@TCKulturTurizm) September 28, 2023
Sanatın provokasyon unsuru olarak kullanılması çabasının bir parçası olmuyor ve festivalden çekilmiş bulunuyoruz.
Ayrıntısı👉 https://t.co/WT08r2EX9k pic.twitter.com/CF2IIhPucT
Following the coup attempt in 2016, dozens of decree laws were issued by the President with the powers granted by the state of emergency. In four years, at least 125,000 civil servants were dismissed.
Although these civil servants were alleged to be members of the Gülen network, which Ankara refers to as the Fettulahist Terorist Organization (FETÖ), there were also many civil servants among them who were members of opposition unions or opposing views against the current government.
Those dismissed from their positions were deprived of many of their civil rights and experienced a "civil death."