Armenian Life Magazine 1429 – Writing
August 13, 2014
The German-Turkish director Fatih Akin and the Armenian-Turkish bilingual weekly Agos received death threats sent by nationalist Turks, Agos who last month published an interview with the director about his new film. The content of the messages, massive support for making the threats and the passivity of the authorities are grim illustration of the current atmosphere in Turkey. Death threats are an omen for next year, the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.
Akin – author of the films “Head On”, “Crossing the Bridge: The Sound of Istanbul” and “Soul Kitchen” – was awarded on July 30 a long interview about Agos “The Cut”, his new focus on film Armenian Genocide. The interview, which was met with great interest has interesting revelations.
For example, Akin said he thought a film about the life of the Armenian journalist Hrant Dink, the former editor of the newspaper Agos who was assassinated in 2007, but no actor he approached had agreed to hold the role.
Akin subsequently began work on a new project: the story of a Turkish-Armenian who, having escaped the massacre of 1915, began the search for her daughters worldwide. Akin wrote the script in German, but was later determined to filming in English. He asked this participation Mardik Martin, an Armenian American and Iraqi writer roots that contributed to the scripts of films by Martin Scorsese. According to Akin, Martin has not only translated; he modified and given the intensity to the script.
The film – with French actor of Algerian origin Tahar Rahim and Turkish Bartu Kucukcaglayan actor – was shot in Jordan, Cuba, Canada, Malta and Germany. His first showing is scheduled for next Venice Film Festival and only the trailer is now available.
Akin told Agos he did not consider “The Cut” as a film about the Armenian Genocide, but as an adventure film. He said not to have had to do so politically motivated and that he hoped the film “will receive the welcome in Turkey and should be projected in large rooms.”
Akin was aware that the fate of his film would not be the same as that given to others in Turkey, even if it is not based on the theme of genocide. “The Cut”, after all, is the first film of a director that addresses the Turkish 1915 events The filmmaker, however, remains optimistic in his view, the film in Turkey will be without problems. “I trust; Turkish people, myself included, is ready for this kind of movie, “he told Agos.
However, since the publication of this interview, a tweet from the Pan Association – Turkist Turanian Akin showed he may have been too optimistic.
We read in the message: “The process is triggered under the direction of the newspaper Agos, for the screening of Fatih Akin on the so-called Armenian Genocide ‘The Cut’ in Turkey. ‘The Cut’ is the first link in the chain of a plot to gain recognition by Turkey of the Armenian Genocide lies before 2015 … and we will not allow it to be screened in Turkey. We openly threaten the newspaper Agos, Armenian fascists and complacent intellectuals. This film will be screened in any room in Turkey. We follow the development of our white wearing berets in the Azeri golden banner. We will see if you are able! “.
The metaphor of “white cap” becomes a sinister message. Samast, the alleged murderer of Hrant Dink, wore a white beret when he shot in the neck Dink outside the offices of Agos in central Istanbul, 19 January 2007 The white cap has since become the frequently raised by participants in the demonstrations racist and anti-Armenian nationalist symbol.
The threat of Turanian Association was relayed on social media by the messages of support from other ultranationalist groups.
The events that followed showed that the Turkish authorities have learned nothing of the murder of Hrant Dink, who was preceded by similar threats. According to the Turkish penal code, these messages is a criminal offense for many reasons, from the threats they have to hold a hate speech. Prosecutions against the perpetrators do not imply that complaints are filed by the victims; the law gives prosecutors the power to initiate criminal proceedings. Unfortunately, hate speech against minorities retains no attention of the prosecutor.
In an advertisement in Al-Monitor reaction, the editor of Agos Robert Koptas said the publication had become accustomed to receiving threats, given the passivity of the authorities as the norm. “For us, the situation is not extraordinary. And the fact that the situation is not extraordinary in itself is an indication of the atmosphere in which we live “Has he said.
“We had to once again make a complaint, despite the fact that the police and justice were supposed to have been seized with these offenses. We are not asking for special protection, but we are a publication whose editor-in-chief was murdered outside his own office. Also, the threats we receive are supposed to have a special significance for the police and prosecutors, “said Koptas. He added that no government official had called him about the threats or make any public statement on this.
Threats indicate that some tensions and turbulence is expected in Turkey in 2015, the centennial of the Armenian Genocide. The debate on the Armenian Genocide in Turkey became free as it has ever been. The commemorative events are now held across Turkey on 24 April, Genocide Remembrance Day. Although the latest incident shows that ultranationalist groups are on alert, the anniversary approaching.
Threats against Akin’s film shows that some circles in Turkey have lost none of their intolerance and emboldened by the failure to act of justice, feel free to take who they want. It seems that no lesson from the past have not been learned.
Gilbert Béguian translation Armenews
Jean Eckian © armenews.com