Turkey’s leading international film festival, Antalya Golden Orange, was canceled due to political pressure from including a controversial documentary, Decree. Directed by Nejla Demirci, the film highlights the struggles of a doctor and teacher who lost their jobs following the failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016, against President Erdogan. In the aftermath, over 130,000 individuals suspected of supporting Erdogan’s former ally, the US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, were dismissed from their positions.
Antalya Mayor Muhittin Bocek announced the cancellation after the Turkish Culture and Tourism Ministry withdrew support, accusing the event of attempting to discredit the nation’s response to the coup through provocative art. Initially set for October 7-14, the festival faced internal conflict over the Decree, leading to withdrawal and later re-inclusion of the film, prompt withdrawal of government funding, and eventual cancellation of the event. The Mayor fired the festival’s president and artistic director for mishandling the sensitive situation. This unprecedented move marks the first time political issues have led to the outright cancellation of the festival. Source
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