Gezi 'censorship' claims rise at Golden Orange Festival

Gezi 'censorship' claims rise at Golden Orange Festival

Gezi censorship claims rise at Golden Orange Festival

The removal of the documentary ‘Love Will Change the Earth’d from the 51st Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival program has prompted debate.

A documentary focusing on last year's protests in Taksim’s Gezi Park has been removed from the 51st Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival’s program, on the grounds that it violates the Turkish Penal Code’s 125th and 299th articles on defamation of the president.

Reyan Tuvi’s documentary titled “Yeryüzü Aşkın Yüzü Oluncaya Dek” (Love Will Change the Earth) was selected for the festival’s National Documentary Competition, after being screened at the Istanbul Film Festival and Adana Golden Boll Film Festival and winning an award at the Documentarist award ceremony.

In a press statement on the issue, the preliminary jury of the National Documentary Competition at the Golden Orange Film Festival said they had chosen 15 films to compete at the festival and presented the list to the festival committee.

“As the preliminary jury, we consider the evaluation of a film according to the Turkish Film Code and its removal from the program as censorship,” the jury members said, declaring that they "do not recognize" the decision.

“We demanded that the festival committee fix this mistake, but the decision was not changed. Under these circumstances, we state that we cannot be a part of such censorship and do not recognize this decision,” it added. It is still unclear whether the preliminary jury will continue to serve at the festival. 

The 51st Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival committee yesterday issued a statement about the claims of censorship, stating that the preliminary jury was chosen to assist the management and that only the main jury, the festival committee, reserved the right to accept or refuse films.

“It should be understood from the preliminary jury members and transparent preliminary process that the festival committee does not have the intention to censor. The films in the festival’s feature, documentary and short film categories demonstrate the festival committee’s objectivity on the issue,” the statement said.