Turkey's culture ministry denies censorship accusation

(MENAFN- The Journal Of Turkish Weekly) Turkey's Culture Ministry has denied accusations of censorship after the cancellation of a documentary movie which was to have been screened on Sunday as part of this year's Istanbul Film Festival.

The festival organizers, the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts, IKSV, claimed on Sunday that the movie "Bakur/North" was cancelled after Turkey's Culture Ministry sent an official letter "reminding" them that "" films produced in Turkey need to have obtained a formal registration certificate in order to be screened at festivals."

"Bakur/North", a documentary on PKK terror group, was directed by Cayan Demirel and senior journalist Ertugrul Mavioglu.

In a statement, the ministry said that the present situation was as a result of a "management weakness" despite "all the information and experience" of the festival organizers.

"The letter in question was not sent recently," the statement said, adding: "It was a general letter € sent on January 9, 2014 € that reminded [about] relevant legislations."

The ministry said that it was "unacceptable" that festival management introduced a past letter as if it had been sent recently.

Competitions across a range of festival categories have been cancelled. The Golden Tulip International and National competitions, the National Documentary competition and the festival closing ceremony will not now take place.

Although some film screenings will continue, around 22 directors and producers have pulled their movies from the festival, according to the IKSV.

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