Filmmakers organise Peace Forum against trustees in Istanbul

Filmmakers came together at the Peace and Cinema Forum in Istanbul to talk about solidarity and joint struggle with artists in the Kurdish cities were trustees have been appointed.

Filmmakers gathered at the Peace and Cinema Forum in Istanbul to talk about the appointment of trustees in the city of Amed, Van and Mardin and ways to show their solidarity.

Trustees target culture

In the open forum held in Abbasağa Park in Beşiktaş, Istanbul, messages from FilmAmed directors Özkan Küçük and Ilham Bakır were shown.

Many people in the film industry, including director Reyan Tuvi, Bakur's director Çayan Demirel and producer Ayşe Çetinbaş, said that trustees primarily target art.

The speakers emphasized that many culture and art activities were stopped during the first periodo of trustees (the past legislature) and underlined the importance of solidarity with the artists in the city run by trustees.

The speakers at the Forum also spoke about the state of censorship and the state of festivals and underlined that the trustees are attacking the will and life of the people, adding that censorship and oppression is imposed to cinema and is in a general sense associated with the struggle against the trustees.

Need for a common struggle

In is message, Özkan Küçük from FilmAmed, emphasized that a common struggle can be carried out against the trustee and said that for filmmakers a even greater goal will be the establishment of a cinemateque in Amed.

He also pointed out that steps could be taken to establish an independent cinema fund based in Amed. The Forum participants were able to watch the images of the people of Amed resisting against the trustee since 19 August, when the democratically elected mayors were removed by the Ministry of Interior. Messages of artists from the previously closed arts and culture institutions were also broadcast.

In the first message, an actor from the Aram Tigran City Conservatory said that even though the work of the institution was stopped by the previous trustee, the artists continued to study their music and to provide Kurdish music and education.

Stating that the reassignment of the trustee is a new blow to the people of Amed, the conservatory student stressed that the Kurdish people will not accept this new imposition and added that a trustee is a temporary thing, while the people is there to stay.

Four months of art

In the second message Amed City Theater Elvan Koçer said: "During the previous 2.5 years of trustee, society was really affected by the imposition and repression. In many decisions taken by the trustee what prevailed was the rhetoric aimed at assimilating the Kurdish people.” Elvan Koçer reminded that the corruption characterising the trustee term in power has been exposed. He reminded of the thousands of workers who were illegally dismissed from thei job by trustees. The actor said that in the first four months after the 31 March elections people were able to breath a bit and enjoy art.

Culture turned into a desert

“In the last election, - filmmaker Ilhan Bakır from FilmAmed said - people made great efforts to ensure that tehir party win. Yet, despite all this the will of the people was ignored and a trustee appointed. This has a name, and a name alone: fascism."

Bakır recalled that during the previous trustee time, "cinemas and theaters in the cities were either closed or transferred to other institutions or transformed into racist, sexist and fascist educational institutions."

Bakır added that all cities where a multilingual, anti-sexist culture had developed before the trustees were turned into a desert of culture and arts.

After the messages from Amed, the short film by Özcan Alper about the clashes in Sur through the eyes of a Basque poet, "Between the ruins" (Kavil) and a short film about Sur after the destruction by director Felat Erkozan, Home / War were shown.