The Serbian filmmaker Emir Kusturica, who had been invited to Altin Portakal (Golden Orange) International Film Festival as a jury member, was enraged by the statements addressed to him by Turkish art critics and politicians. He has left Turkey.
Before leaving, the filmmaker held a press conference and severely criticized Turkush Culture and Tourism Minister Ertugrul Günay, who stated he would not take part in the festival because of the Serbian filmmaker. Kusturica said he considers the Turkish minister “an enemy” because of his behavior.
Turkish media have reported that Kusturica repeatedly downplayed the number of killed during the Bosnia war. It was not clear when Kusturica made those comments but daily Milliyet said Sunday that Kusturica denied the allegations.
Kusturica also noted that just a few months ago he and his No Smoking Orchestra visited Bursa for a live performance, where they were greeted warmly and enthusiastically by the city’s officials. So what has happened since, that made the Minister refuse to attend the festival because of Kusturica, asked the filmmaker.
The Serbian producer also sharply responded to the well-known Turkish film producer Semih Kaplanoglu, the director of the Berlin film festival Golden Bear-winning drama “Bal” (Honey), who announced on Thursday that he had withdrawn his film from the festival, as Kusturica was on the jury for the international competition. If Mr. Kaplanoglu is so sensitive about genocides, why he does not speak of the Armenian Genocide during World War I. Thus he would have added crimes against humanity to his sensitivity. The Serbian filmmaker stated he has always voiced his attitude to the crimes against humanity committed in Bosnia. The Serbians were against the crimes as well, and many Serbians were murdered in Bosnia.
Turkish public and political figures, as well as workers of culture, were critical of the festival organizers as well.
Earlier this March Emir Kusturica visited Yerevan. He called Armenia a wonderful country, promising his contribution to Golden Apricot Film Festival held in Yerevan.

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