Major sponsors pull out of Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival amid controversy
The 60th Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival faces a wave of withdrawals by major sponsors following controversy over the reselection of the documentary "Kanun Hukmu" (The Rule of Law). The film was initially removed due to an ongoing court case against one of the people featured in the film.
This decision to reinstate the documentary has led to the withdrawal of support by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and the withdrawal of support by major sponsors, including Turkish Airlines and Corendon Airlines. The potential impact on the esteemed film festival is significant, and the decisions of other sponsors, such as TAV Airports and Yaşam Hospitals, are being awaited with bated breath, reports Gazete Duvar.
Yıldıray Karaer, CEO of Corendon Airlines, who confirmed the withdrawal, expressed disappointment and stressed the need for united action with the ministry. "Unfortunately, we have to withdraw our sponsorship. It is an issue that we think is open for discussion. We need to act together with the ministry," Karaer said.
While the festival is in turmoil, Dr. Cemal Ozkan of Yaşam Hospitals expressed hope for a conciliatory solution. Stressing the importance of Antalya and the Golden Orange brand, he expressed optimism that the ministry and Antalya Metropolitan Municipality would resolve the issue amicably.
The movie "Kanun Hukmu" tells the story of Engin Karatas, a teacher who was dismissed from his job after 20 years because his name appeared on the lists of the emergency decree. Karatas, arrested several times for peacefully protesting his dismissal, underscored the personal and professional toll of his ongoing legal battles in an interview with Serbestiyet.
Earlier, amid this crisis, the festival's decision to reinstate "Kanun Hukmu" in the National Documentary Competition signaled a stand for artistic freedom. Reaffirming its commitment, the jury echoed this sentiment, asserting that a festival should be "free and equal for all".
As the controversy unfolds, the resilience of the festival and the fate of Kanun Hukmu reflect broader challenges to artistic expression and civil liberties in Turkey.