President Gül, PM Erdoğan congratulate Palme d’Or winner Ceylan

President Gül, PM Erdoğan congratulate Palme d’Or winner Ceylan

President Gül, PM Erdoğan congratulate Palme d’Or winner Ceylan

Turkish director Nuri Bilge Ceylan poses with the Palme d'Or for the film "Winter Sleep" during a photocall after the Closing Ceremony of the 67th edition of the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, southern France, on May 24, 2014. AFP Photo

Turkey’s president and prime minister have separately extended congratulations to Nuri Bilge Ceylan, whose film “Winter Sleep” won the top Palme d’Or prize at the 67th Cannes International Film Festival on May 24.

President Abdullah Gül sent a telegram to Ceylan and expressed his pleasure over the success, which raised the profile of Turkish cinema in its 100th year, the president’s press office said, Anadolu Ageny reported late May 24.

Noting that Ceylan has so far received many national and international awards, including the 2009 Presidential Culture and Arts Grand Award for cinema, Gül said the Palme d’Or prize crowned his successes. The president extended congratulations to the film’s actors and crew in addition to Ceylan, saying they had brought huge honor and happiness to the nation once more.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan also extended congratulations to the director upon his return from Cologne to Istanbul early on the morning of May 25.

Erdoğan initiated a telephone conversation with Ceylan upon his return in order to congratulate him both for the prize and for the significant contributions he has made to Turkish cinema, Anadolu Agency reported.

The prime minister reportedly told Ceylan that the latter had offered “a new honor to our sacred nation” with the Palme d’Or.

Parliament Speaker Cemil Çiçek and main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu also congratulated Ceylan. While Çiçek sent a written message to the director, Kılıçdaroğlu called him on the phone.

“For winning the Palme d’Or 32 years after Yılmaz Güney’s ‘Yol’ [The Way] film honored us, we are proud of you,” Kılıçdaroğlu was quoted by the CHP press office as telling Ceylan.

“Winter Sleep” has become only the second film by a Turkish director to win the festival’s highest honor, after Yılmaz Güney and Şerif Gören’s classic “The Way” (1982).