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Gezi Park Vendetta

Gezi Park Vendetta

According to state run Anadolu News Agency, 5th December, Turkish authorities seem to have issued an arrest warrant for Can Dündar, a most accomplished journalist and film-maker.

Only, this time around, it is not for “espionage”- as in publishing in Cumhuriyet, the newspaper he used to edit, some photographs of MIT trucks running arms to the Middle East, but for playing an “active role” in the Gezi Park protests by “provoking public unrest via social media”.

However, what is odd about the new arrest warrant is, given the events in question took place in 2013, if truth be told, Gezi Park is simply “Old Hat”. So, why the sudden interest – especially when, as the case is with Mr Dündar, the “culprit” is in self-imposed exile, residing in Germany?

The answer lies in a new phenomenon the world is witnessing: namely, the supra-territoriality in pursuing those who cause the displeasure of certain regimes. In the old days, like Vladimir Ilyich Lenin in Zurich, dissidents could reside abroad and feel reasonably safe. Not anymore. In 2018, we have seen two brutal cases – of dictators wreaking vengeance on those who incurred their wrath: one in a quiet English town, the other, nearer home, in Istanbul. More importantly, it was the measured world reaction to these atrocities, signalling the new rules of the game: money is more important than people.

It is interesting to note, in the case of Mr Dündar, that the Turkish authorities should have waited for five years, and only now, suddenly, decide to pursue him for his wrongdoings – namely, posting incendiary comments on the Social Media during Gezi Park protests.

Also read:  Into the Abyss: Turkish Impressions of a U.S.-Turkish Break #TurkeyUS

Finally, I plead guilty to a similar malfeasance. Indeed, at the time of Gezi Park Protest, I acted as the “ring-leader” to a number of signatories, drafting an open letter addressed Mr Erdoğan, then the Turkish PM. The offending item was published, as a full page ad, in the London Times, criticising Mr Erdoğan for his handling of the Gezi Park protests, which left eight dead and many blinded for life, due to indiscriminate use of tear gas.

The letter was signed by various writers and artists, including the late Andrew Mango, Fazil Say, Susan Sarandon, David Lynch, Ben Kingsley, James Fox, Frederic Raphael, Edna O’Brian, Julian Fellowes, Tom Stoppard, Branko Lustig and others, in all, including myself, thirty “mischief makers”.

Probably, we should soon expect a knock at our respective doors.

About The Author

Fuad Kavur

Fuad Kavur' (born 1952 in Istanbul, Turkey) is a British opera and film director and producer.Kavur came to London in 1963 when his uncle, Kemal N. Kavur, was the Turkish ambassador to the Court of St. James. He comes from a family of diplomats: one paternal uncle, Kemal N. Kavur, served as ambassador to Finland, Bulgaria, the Soviet Union, Japan, the United Kingdom, and Switzerland; another, Sadi Kavur, was ambassador to Yugoslavia, Sweden and Portugal.[1]In 1984 Fuad produced the feature film Memed, My Hawk (also known as The Lion and the Hawk), based on the novel Memed, My Hawk by the Turkish writer Yashar Kemal. It was directed by Peter Ustinov and starred Ustinov, Herbert Lom, Simon Dutton, Siobhán McKenna, Michael Elphick and Denis Quilley. Memed My Hawk had a royal premiere in London in the aid of UNICEF.[2] However, both the filming and screening of Memed My Hawk was (and still is) banned in Turkey by the government as "communist propaganda".[3] Fuad was a company director of Peter Ustinov Productions from 1982 to 1992.[4] In 2001, he was the executive producer of Atatürk, a television documentary on Kemal Atatürk, narrated by Donald Sinden. Since 2014 Kavur has been preparing a feature film, Atatürk.[5]In July 2013, Kavur assembled a group of artists & writers, 30 in all, to sign an open letter addressed to the Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, criticising his handling of the Gezi Park Protests in June, which left 8 people dead, 11 blinded and 8,000 injured. The signatories included Susan Sarandon, Sean Penn, David Lynch, Sir Ben Kingsley, James Fox, Sir Tom Stoppard, Christopher Hampton, Lord Fellowes, Frederic Raphael, Edna O'Brien, Rachel Johnson, Christopher Shinn, Branko Lustig, Vilmos Zsigmond and Atatürk's biographer Andrew Mango. The letter was published as a full page advertisement in the London broadsheet, The Times, on 24 July 2013 and led to the Prime Minister Erdogan threatening to sue The Times and the signatories.[3]

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