ISTANBUL – The in Turkey well known journalist and documentary film-maker Can Dündar will be sued for the film ‘Mustafa’, a biography of Turkey’s founding father Atatürk. The film is said to insult Atatürk, as daily newspaper Vatan writes today.
The documentary drew more than 1 million viewers in Turkey at the end of last year. Immediately debate about the film started. Dündar wanted to show a more personal side of Atatürk. He did that by, among other things, showing the statesman smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol, and by not shunning images about Atatürk’s contacts with women. A thorn in the eye of strict Atatürkdevotees, who also argued that the founder of the Turkish republic was portrayed as too dictatorial, godless, arrogant and ambitious. In other words: the documentary was insulting the memory of Atatürk. The criticism damaged the image of Dündar, who was, because of his former work, always known as a faithful admirerof Atatürk.
A group of civilians filed a complaint against the film, but that complaint was at first brushed aside by the prosecutor. A higher court has now annulled that ruling and is taking the case to court and demanding a prison sentence of 7.5 years.