Turkish court sentences two directors over terror propaganda in a documentary

A Turkish court in the southeastern province of Batman on Thursday sentenced two directors to six years and four months in prison over making terror propaganda in a documentary, news outlet Sendika.org reported.

Batman's heavy penal court in 2017 filed a lawsuit against directors Ertuğrul Mavioğlu and Çayan Demirel over terrorism charges for their 2015 documentary named “A Guerilla Documentary: Bakur (North)”.

The documentary reflected on the decades-long conflict between the Turkish state and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), following the lives of the PKK members in three different camps on the southeast and east of Turkey. It was shot at a time the Turkish government was in talks with the PKK to end the more than three decade long conflict in southeast Turkey. 

The documentary was scheduled to premiere at the 34th Istanbul Film Festival in 2015, but the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts cancelled the screening on behalf of the Ministry of Culture, citing missing official registration documents.

In protest, twenty-three other directors withdrew their own submissions in the festival, while the director of the festival and its jury all stepped down as well.

The ruling is a message to all who pursues the truth and "the tyranny will be overcome one day", Mavioğlu said on Twitter.