Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Mizgin Mujde Arslan and Ozay Sahin have been detained on Monday, February 13th
We regret to inform that our friends and colleagues Mizgin Mujde Arslan and Ozay Sahin have been detained on Monday, February 13th. Arslan is a director, author and scholar. Sahin is also a director, cinematographer and actor. The authorities allege that they collaborate with KCK, claimed to be the urban wing of the Kurdish rebel group the PKK.
Turkey recently has witnessed a massive police operation against activists, advocates, academics, and publishers who are pro-Kurdish on the grounds of alleged links to the outlawed “Union of Communities in Kurdistan” (sometimes also referred to as the Kurdish Communities Union), known by its Kurdish-language acronym, the KCK.
Mizgin Mujde Arslan contributed to the cinema of Turkey not only with her films that have been selected to many national and international film festivals but also with her reviews and books. “The Lost Grave”, the film she has only just completed is the story of her father. It is a symbol of the last 30 years of mutual pain that our country has been suffering. This project is considered as an instrument for peace and it has been subsidized by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Turkey.
Ozay Sahin’s feature documentary “Can Baz” which he made after working in the film industry as an actor, cinematographer and editor, has been selected to many international festivals. He was the director of photography for “The Lost Grave”.
We have not forgotten the declaration our Minister of Internal Affairs, İdris Naim Sahin made on 26 December 2011. By saying “With poetry, articles, paintings they justify terrorism,” he clearly condemned artists and the oppository ways of thinking. This was a sign of the conflict we face today.
The detention of Mizgin Mujde Arslan, Ozay Sahin and many other people definitely proves that there is an ongoing intervention to the Kurdish community behind these operations related to KCK. Until today thousands of people have been victimized by these operations and we have no doubt that artists are especially targeted alongside students, politicians, journalists, workers and scholars.
We, the undersigned film industry members are very concerned by these operations. We deeply regret those detentions and arrestations of artists following the Minister of Internal Affair İdris Naim Sahin’s declaration. We demand the immediate release of our friends and colleagues Mizgin Mujde Arslan and Ozay Sahin.
Mahmut Fazıl Coşkun,
Altyazı (monthly film review)
Ankara International Film Festival
docIstanbul Documentary Research Center
Documentarist International Documentary Festival
Filmmor International Women’s Film Festival
Labour Film Festival
Sinesen (Filmmakers Union)
Flying Broom International Women’s Film Festival
Yeni Film Magazine
Arin İnan Arslan,
Aziz Çapkurt ,
Burçin S. Yalçın,
Cemre Ceren Asarlı,
Hikmet Yaşar Yenigün,
Kibar Dağlayan Yiğit,
Mustafa Emin Büyükçoşkun,
Tül Akbal Süalp,
Yasin Ali Türkeri,
Zeynep Merve Uygun,