Turkish film maker dedicates award to imprisoned Dr. Sebnem Korur Fincanci
Turkish film maker Ozcan Alper dedicated the award he received in Bogazici Film Festival on Friday to Sebnem Korur Fincanci, who was arrested and incarcerated over "terror propaganda" charges on Thursday.
Fincanci, the Chair of the Turkish Medical Association, is accused because of her assessment of a video footage which allegedly shows a chemical warfare victim in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.
After receiving the Best Director award for his "Black Night," Alper addressed an audience in Istanbul, saying:
"This is a film on evil, a story of lynching. But we didn't make our observations only on the current state of things. We tried to reach some understanding of the wickedness in these lands; in all the world indeed, but particularly in these lands."
"Unfortunately the misdeeds are not ending. It happened again recently. We know about those institutions from our past experiences. When we were young, we were constantly subjected to the violence of the State whenever we set out to struggle even for some basic rights (...) Back then there were a couple of associations through which we sought justice, and with which we placed our complaints alongside victims of torture (...) We had the Human Rights Foundation and the Associaton of Human Rights. And there was a woman, Sebnem Korur Fincanci, who worked in these associations; a woman who has always stood up in defense of peace against war. Unfortunately she has been, as you may be aware, recently subjected to a lynching campaign because she once again stood up for peace. I hope this is the last time. I hope she is released from prison as soon as possible. I dedicate this award to her."
The jury in the Bogazici Film Festival was chaired by Semih Kaplanoglu, Golden Bear winner at Berlin International Film Festival and winner of many other international awards.
Ozcan Alper's films include The Festival of Troubadours (2022), Memories of the Wind (2015), Future Lasts Forever (2011), and Tales from Kars (2010).
Alper recently won the Best Film award for Black Night in the 59th Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival.