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// Films // Turkey on the Edge

Turkey on the Edge

Imre Azem / Turkey - Germany / 2017 / 52 ' / German - English - Turkish / S.T. English

Credits

Imre Azem
Fatih Pinar & Imre Azem
OME
Zora Nessl & Gaye Günay

Awards & Festivals

Movies that Matter Festival 2018

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previously screened

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This urgent film follows Erdogan's ascendance to power and Turkish activists' formidable groundwork to regain freedom for the academic press and minorities.

Synopsis

For the first time a documentary shows the radical changes in Turkey from an inner perspective and what it means to be part of the opposition. Turkish filmmaker Imre Azem accompanies four protagonists for one year in the state of emergency: Fatih Polat, journalist and editor in chief of the left-wing Newspaper Evernsel; Gül Köksal, one of the first academics fired by the state; activist Deniz Özgür and Mücella Yapici, “mother“ of the Gezi protests and member of the Chamber of Architects in Istanbul.

The filmmaker starts his narration in 2013 when the Gezi protests united millions of people from different political parties in a democratic movement. In this peak moment of political protest Imre Azem meets his protagonists who constantly struggle for democracy in their country – risking their personal freedom. In 2016 they are involved in founding an independent parliament called “Unity for Democracy” with over 100 members. It was established after the coup attempt when many parliament members were dismissed.

According to official statements 51 percent of the Turkish population voted for Erdogan’s presidential system. The protagonists are part of the other 49 percent. Nevertheless there are forces that try to unify the divided society based on common democratic values and to create an alternative to Erdogan’s politics. The protagonists walk on a very thin line between their personal commitment for democracy and the increasing external pressure.

In a mix of archives – from the Gezi protests in 2013, the coup attempt in 2016 to Erdogan’s speech after the referendum in 2017 – and the personal stories of the protagonists, TURKEY ON THE EDGE is a testimony to the country‘s shift to a yet undefined destination.

 

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