Turkish director awarded honorary title in Italy
He was awarded the title “Ambassador of Salento” for his fundamental role in promoting Salento in southeast Italy and making the beauty of the territory known.
Özpetek has been living in Italy for 43 years and said he is proud and grateful for being honored with such an award.
The acclaimed director of a dozen films, Özpetek enjoys a large audience in Italy, Turkey and worldwide.
His films regularly win attention and awards at global film festivals.
In 2008, Özpetek received the Stella di Solidarieta (Star of Solidarity) order, awarded by then-President Giorgio Napolitano for his services to humanity and the environment.
He also received the Italian Order of Merit, the country's highest honor, in Rome on Nov. 4 this year.
Italy's Order of Merit is given in five degrees for long and conspicuous service in the fields of literature, the arts, economy, public service, and for social, philanthropic and humanitarian activities.