May 17 2018

Turkish pro-government filmmaker's detention extended

A man who produced a hagiographical film about Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s life and directed of an epic film about the popular resistance to the July 2016 failed coup attempt has had his latest bid for freedom rejected by an Istanbul court.

Ali Avcı was arrested on July 13, 2017 on charges of running an armed terrorist organisation after a trailer for his latest film showed scenes of a gun being pointed to the president’s head and his family being killed.

Police discovered evidence that he had been a member of the Gülen movement-linked charitable foundation Kimse Yok Mu? (Is Nobody There?) in the Anatolian city of Malatya.

The Gülen movement, a religious group formerly very close to the government, are accused by the government of having masterminded the coup attempt.

Avcı told the court, however that his signature on the membership form had been faked.

“That is not my (style of) signature. I have never signed anything like that in my life,” he told the court.

Avcı said that the Gülen movement itself had tried to end his career and that he had nonetheless helped write the Erdoğan biopic Reis (Chief).

The judge rejected his request to be released pending trial and ordered an investigation to be carried out into the suspect’s signature.…

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