Ceylan dedicates Palme d'Or to Turkey's young victims

Ceylan dedicates Palme d'Or to Turkey's young victims

Arzu Çakır Morin - PARIS
Ceylan dedicates Palme dOr to Turkeys young victims

Nuri Bilge Ceylan (R) delivers his acceptance speech at the Cannes Film Festival.

Turkish director Nuri Bilge Ceylan won the coveted Palme d'Or prize at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival on May 24 for his latest offering, "Winter Sleep," dedicating his victory to the Turkish youth who have died in the past year, particularly during the Gezi protests and in the Soma mining disaster.

The lengthy, philosophizing "Winter Sleep," a domestic drama, was among the favorites in Cannes.

"This is the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the Turkish cinema. This is an incredibly beautiful coincidence. I thank Thierry Fremaux, Gilles Jacob and Jane Campion very much. I dedicate this award the young people in Turkey and those who have lost their lives over the last year," Ceylan said.

Speaking in a press conference on May 17, he had also touched on the recent Soma mining disaster, the worst of its kind in Turkey's history, which claimed 301 lives. "In Japan, when someone dies [in an industrial accident], someone steps down. In Turkey this is not the case. I don't know why, perhaps it is a cultural difference," he said.

Ceylan, who is married to Turkish actress Ebru Ceylan, was previously recognized as best director at the festival in 2008 with his movie Three Monkeys (Üç Maymun) and also twice received the Grand Prix Award - the second most-prestigious prize at Cannes - in 2003 and 2011.

The second-place prize this year went to Italian director Alice Rohrwacher for "Le Meraviglie" (The Wonders) while Canadian director Xavier Dolan's film "Mommy" shared the third-place prize with octogenarian French director Jean-Luc Godard's "Adieu au Langage" (Goodbye to Language).

American director Bennett Miller won the best director award for "Foxcatcher," British actor Timothy Spall won best actor for Mike Leigh's film "Mr Turner" and Julianne Moore was named best actress in David Cronenberg's "Maps to the Stars."