International Coalition for Filmmakers at Risk (ICFR)

Jump to content // Jump to navigation

International Coalition for Filmmakers at Risk (ICFR) — Home page

The Coalition acts in cases of persecution or threats to the personal safety of filmmakers and will defend their right to continue their work, by mobilising the international film community.


Thursday, 28 April 2022

Release Çiğdem Mater!

The International Coalition for Filmmakers at Risk (ICFR) calls for the Turkish authorities to immediately and unconditionally release film producer Çiğdem Mater.

On Monday, 25 April 2022, Çiğdem Mater was sentenced to 18 years in prison, together with six co-defendants, in what Amnesty International describes as “a travesty of justice of spectacular proportions”. The main accusation against Çiğdem is that she was trying to raise financing for a documentary project about the Gezi Park movement – a film which was never made.

Çiğdem Mater is a Turkish film producer and journalist. Since 2010 she has produced multiple Turkish documentaries and feature films such as MAJORITY (2010) and SIVAS (2014, Best Youth Feature Film Award at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards). She also worked as local producer for international projects shot in Turkey such as Ai Weiwei’s HUMAN FLOW, Eric Baudlaire’s AKA and Muhammed Ben Attia’s WELDI. She is the founding co-ordinator for the Armenia Turkey Cinema Platform which supports co-production between Turkey and Armenia.

Çiğdem Mater is one of 13 high-profile academics and cultural workers who were initially arrested by the Turkish police in 2018. This was in a crackdown against people and organisations connected to the 2013 Gezi Park protests. While they were later released, the Turkish government alleges that those involved in the protests sought to overthrow the government of then Prime Minister, now President Erdogan. At the forefront of these accusations was prominent philanthropist Osman Kavala, who has been in prison without a conviction since 2017. Initially, the court in Istanbul cleared Kaval of espionage charges but found him guilty of attempting to overthrow the government amid mass protests in Gezi Park in 2013. Kavala denies allegations that he financed the anti-government protests.

Çiğdem Mater returned to Turkey from Germany on 15 February and attended the hearings of the Gezi Park Case. The court arrested her, saying ‘there is a suspicion of escape’. Mater’s lawyer Hürrem Sönmez said that his client was in Germany as part of a project but returned to the country to attend the hearings. On Monday, 25 April 2022, Çiğdem Mater was among seven defendants connected to Kavala who were sentenced to 18 years in prison for ‘aiding his crime’.

Mater said in her defense: “I participated in the Gezi Park protests as an activist to protect the park, and as a filmmaker. I haven’t made a film about this, as argued in the indictment, but I could have. This is something we must be discussing not in courtrooms, but in movie theatres.”

Such an extreme sentence does not only violate the rights of Ms. Mater and her colleagues, but furthermore, it is a flagrant threat to freedom of expression as it seeks to silence all filmmakers and artists through fear. ICFR calls on the Turkish authorities to immediately and unconditionally release Çiğdem Mater and her colleagues and we encourage all film and culture institutions around the world to do the same.

Share

Search
International Coalition for Filmmakers at Risk (ICFR) — Home page

Our site uses cookies for social networks connections, better overall site performance and awesome user experience. Do you agree with use of cookies?

Find out more

Cookies on our web page

About cookies

Cookies are short text files that are sent from a website and stored on user’s computer, smartphone or any other device accessing websites through the Internet. They can be used to collect information on how users browse a website, and can thus adapt the contents of the website to users’ interests when they browse the same website in the future, ensuring the best user experience. A cookie usually contains a string of letters and numbers that is stored on user’s computer when they visit a certain website. Each time the user visits the website, the latter is notified of the stored cookie, thereby enabling recognition of the user.

The use of cookies on the Internet has been commonplace for quite some time. More information on cookies can be found at www.aboutcookies.org, including instructions on how to delete them.

Types of cookies

Strictly necessary cookies

These cookies let you move around the website and use its essential features. Without these cookies, services you’ve asked for (e.g. registration, shopping activities, safety, etc.) will not function.

Performance cookies

These cookies collect information on how visitors use a website with the purpose of improving their user experience (for instance, which pages visitors go to most often, etc.). These cookies do not collect information that identifies a visitor.

Functionality cookies

These cookies allow the website to remember your settings and choices you make (user name, language, region, etc.) and provide enhanced, personalised features. These cookies may track your actions on the website.

Targeting cookies

Tracking cookies are related to third-party services (e.g. advertising and social networks), such as the ‘Like’ and ‘Share’ buttons. These cookies may track your actions on the website. They are managed and hosted by third parties.

Cookies on this website

Cookie name Author Purpose
bcms_cookie_accepted
bcms_cookie_declined
ICFR These cookies record your choice regarding the use of cookies on our website.
di
dt
psc
uid
uit
uvc
siteaud
ana_svc
atuvc
user_token
...
AddThis These cookies are set by AddThis social plugin.
AddThis privacy policy / Opt-out of AddThis
__utma
__utmz
SID
LOGIN_INFO
use_hotbox
PREF
SSID
HSID
watched_video_id_list
demographics
VISITOR_INFO1_LIVE
...
YouTube These cookies are set by YouTube video player.
Types of cookies used by Google
__qca
__utma
__utmz
__utmv
__utmb
clip_id
home_active_tab
uid
v6f
utmc
aka_debug
...
Vimeo These cookies are set by Vimeo video player.
Vimeo privacy policy / Vimeo cookie policy

Cookie management

Cookies are stored and managed by the browser used by the user. The browser may limit cookie storage or disable it. Cookies stored by the browser may be deleted – for more information visit www.aboutcookies.org. Your decision regarding the use of cookies on this website can be changed at any time by clicking on the link Cookies.

Website management

Website ICFR — International Coalition for Filmmakers at Risk.