Gray Wo|ves Spo|| 1urkeyƌs Þub||c|ty Þ|oy on ƌAraratƌ

8y ParuL Sassounlan
Þubllsherţ 1he Callfornla Courler

1he lnLernaLlonal press publlshed ln Lhe pasL Lwo weeks dozens of arLlcles regardlng Lhe cancellaLlon of
Lhe screenlng ln 1urkey of ALom Lgoyanƌs movle ƍAraraLŦƍ

ln order Lo undersLand why Lhe showlng of ƍAraraLƍ was cancelledţ we musL flrsL undersLand whaL
prompLed Lhe 1urklsh auLhorlLles Lo Lake Lhe unprecedenLed sLep of allowlng Lhe screenlng of a movle
on Lhe sub[ecL of Lhe Armenlan CenocldeŦ We musL remember LhaL we are deallng wlLh an exLremely
lnLoleranL governmenL LhaL goes Lo greaL lengLhs Lo obsLrucL all references Lo Lhe Armenlan Cenoclde
anywhere ln Lhe worldŦ 1hls ls Lhe same governmenL LhaL a couple of years ago consldered sulng Lgoyan
ln order Lo prevenL Lhe maklng of Lhls movle ln CanadaŦ

noL surprlslnglyţ ƍAraraLƍ was banned ln 1urkeyŦ 1he 1urklsh offlclals could noL have shown a movle
wlLhln Lhelr own borders when Lhey were adamanLly opposed Lo lLs screenlng ln oLher counLrlesŦ 1he
1urklsh company LhaL had lmporLed ƍAraraLƍ encounLered many obsLaclesţ lncludlng demands Lo deleLe
scenes LhaL were deemed offenslve Lo 1urklsh senslblllLlesţ repeaLed denlals of a screenlng permlL from
Lhe governmenLƌs clnema waLchdogţ and courL acLlon Lo overLurn Lhe commlsslonƌs re[ecLlonŦ

Poweverţ Lhe perslsLenL efforLs of Lhe 1urklsh dlsLrlbuLor were noL Lhe reason why approval was flnally
granLed Lo show Lhe movleŦ 1he 1urklsh leadersţ who are desperaLely Lrylng Lo quallfy Lhelr counLry for
membershlp ln Lhe Luropean unlonţ reallzed LhaL Lhe ouLrlghL bannlng of a Canadlan movle would make
1urkey look bad ln Lhe eyes of Lhe LuropeansŦ 1hey came up wlLh a clever ployŦ 1hey flrsL chop off from
Lhe movleţ scenes ƍof offenslve quallLyţƍ ln Lhe words of Lhe MlnlsLer of CulLure and 1ourlsm Lrkan
MumcuŦ 1hey Lhen allow lLs screenlng ln a couple of LheaLres for a few daysŦ 1hls wayţ Lhey could clalm
Lo be ƍLoleranLƍ wlLhouL glvlng a chance for Loo many 1urks Lo see a movle on Lhls Laboo sub[ecLŦ
MlnlsLer Mumcu proudly Lold reporLers Lwo weeks agoť 1urkey ƍcan easlly LoleraLe such LhlngsŦ lf some
people are curlousţ Lhey can go and see lLŦŦŦŦ Accordlng Lo Lhe lnformaLlon l haveţ lL ls a fllm whlch ls very
dldacLlc and can even be descrlbed as rldlculous propagandaŦƍ

1he 1urklsh Lrlck worked for a shorL whlleŦ lor exampleţ a Canadlan newspaperţ CLLowa ClLlzenţ
publlshed a lengLhy arLlcle on Lhe planned screenlng of ƍAraraLƍ ln 1urkeyţ commendlng Lhe new open
mlndedness of Lhe 1urksŦ ƍ1he Canadlan dlrecLor ALom Lgoyan wlll be among Lhe flrsL beneflclarles of
1urkeyƌs pledge Lo expand freedom of expresslon as parL of lLs bld Lo [oln Lhe Luropean unlonţƍ Lhe
CLLawa ClLlzen wroLeŦ

unforLunaLely for Lhe 1urklsh offlclalsţ Lhelr clever propaganda deslgns were cuL shorL by a fanaLlcal
1urklsh ulLraŴnaLlonallsL group LhaL Look a more honesLţ buL less dlplomaLlc approachŦ 1he ulku Ccaklarlţ
also known as Lhe Cray Wolvesţ harshly demanded Lhe bannlng of ƍAraraLŦƍ 1hey called on Lhe
governmenLţ Lhe MlnlsLer of CulLure as well as Lhe 1urklsh dlsLrlbuLor Lo Lake ƍour warnlng serlouslyţƍ
oLherwlseţ Lhey saldţ ƍLhey should be ready Lo pay a prlce!ƍ 1he group flooded Lhe sLreeLs of lsLanbul
wlLh anLl ƍAraraLƍ posLersŦ ClLlng Lhese LhreaLsţ Lhe 1urklsh dlsLrlbuLor lmmedlaLely cancelled Lhe
showlng of Lhe fllmŦ

l would llke Lo make Lhe followlng observaLlons regardlng Lhe cancellaLlon of ƍAraraLƍť

O Whlle Lhe 1urklsh governmenL was playlng pollLlcal games Lrylng Lo lmpress Lhe Luropeans wlLh
Lhe screenlng of Lhe movle ln a couple of LheaLresţ Lhe ulLra naLlonallsL group LhaL forced lLs
cancellaLlon reflecLed more Lruly Lhe longŴsLandlng denlallsL vlews of mosL 1urks on Lhe
Armenlan CenocldeŦ
O ConLrary Lo Lhe 1urklsh MlnlsLerƌs asserLlon LhaL 1urkey ƍcan easlly LoleraLeƍ Lhls movleţ lLs
forced cancellaLlon lefL no doubL LhaL 1urklsh socleLy ls sLlll far from exhlblLlng any Lolerance on
Lhe sub[ecL of Lhe Armenlan CenocldeŦ
O Lven when Lhe 1urklsh governmenL was Lrylng Lo lmpress Lhe Luropeans by felgnlng Loleranceţ lL
sLlll resorLed Lo censorshlp by cuLLlng several scenes LhaL deplcLed Lhe rapes of Armenlan
women by CLLoman soldlersŦ 1hese scenes were chopped off wlLhouL Lgoyanƌs approvalŦ So
much for respecLlng arLlsLlc rlghLs and freedom of expresslon ln 1urkeyŦ lurLhermoreţ Lhese
scenes were deleLed allegedly because lL ls agalnsL Lhe law ln 1urkey Lo show 1urklsh soldlers
commlLLlng crlmesŦ lf Lhere ls such a lawţ lL ls noLeworLhy LhaL Lhe 1urklsh governmenL ls
equaLlng Lhe laws appllcable Lo Lodayƌs soldlers Lo Lhose of Lhe CLLoman LmplreŦ lf Lhe poslLlon
of Lhe 1urklsh governmenL ls LhaL Lhe soldlers of Lhe 8epubllc of 1urkey and Lhose of Lhe Lmplre
are one and Lhe sameţ Lhen 1urkey ls legally responslble for all Lhe acLs and aLroclLles commlLLed
by Lhe CLLoman soldlers agalnsL mllllons of Armenlansţ Assyrlansţ Creeks and kurdsŦ
O lL ls slgnlflcanL LhaL Lhe 1urklsh governmenL dld noL Lake any legal acLlon agalnsL Lhe exLremlsL
group LhaL LhreaLened physlcal vlolence agalnsL all Lhose who supporLed Lhe screenlng of
ƍAraraLƍ ln 1urkeyŦ uevleL 8ahchellţ Lhe leader of Lhe naLlonallsL MovemenL ÞarLy (MPÞ)ţ Lhe
parenL group of Lhe ulku Ccaklarl groupţ ln lashlng ouL aL Lhe governmenL for approvlng Lhe
screenlng of ƍAraraLţƍ saldţ ƍLhls counLry ż1urkeyŽ ls noL wlLhouL a masLerŦƍ Pe ls rlghL! lL ls a
wellŴknown facL LhaL Lhe elecLed offlclals ln 1urkey are noL and have never been Lhe masLers of
Lhe counLryŦ
As Penchal uluch wroLe ln Lhe 1urklsh newspaper Sabahţ ƍZorbasƍ (Lhugs) conLlnue Lo ruleƍ
1urkey!ƍ 1he mlllLary and Lhe exLremlsL groups LhaL en[oy Lhelr blesslng and proLecLlon are Lhe
Lrue masLers of 1urkeyŦ 1haLƌs Lhe reason why ƍAraraLƍ goL cancelled wlLh lmpunlLy desplLe Lhe
permlsslon of Lhe governmenL!
O ln order Lo expose as many 1urks as posslble Lo ƍAraraLƍ (lLs uncensored verslon)ţ a campalgn
should be underLaken by Lhe dlsLrlbuLors of Lhe fllm Lo publlclze Lhe facL LhaL a uvu copy could
be ordered by anyone ln 1urkey vla Lhe lnLerneL (AmazonŦcom)Ŧ ln addlLlonţ free coples should
be malled Lo members of Lhe 1urklsh medla and oLher leadlng oplnlon makers ln 1urkeyŦ

lL ls lndeed forLunaLe LhaL ulLra naLlonallsL 1urks forced Lhe cancellaLlon of ƍAraraLƍ ln 1urkeyŦ
CLherwlseţ by showlng Lhls movle ln a handful of LheaLres for a couple of daysţ Lhe 1urklsh
governmenL would have been able Lo clalm LhaL 1urkey ls a LoleranL naLlon and ready for
membershlp ln Lhe Luropean unlonŦ 1he cancellaLlon of ƍAraraLƍ proves LhaL 1urkey ls sLlll far
from quallfylng Lo [oln Lhe ranks of clvlllzed naLlonsŦ