HDP Vice Co-chair and Istanbul MP, Sırrı Süreyya Önder, has posed a parliamentary question to the Minister of Culture and Tourism, Ömer Çelik, in response to the ban on Lars von Trier’s latest movie, “Nymphomaniac”.

Lars von Tier’s latest movie “Nymphomaniac”, set to air in Turkish movie theatres on March 14, was banned by the National Cinema Board. The higher committee, which has members from the Ministries of Culture and Tourism, Interior and Education as well, released its decision that the film cannot be screened even with a “+18” certificate despite the dispute among the members of the subcommittee.

Istanbul MP Sırrı Süreyya Önder has posed a parliamentary question on the issue. Önder’s parliamentary question is as follows:

“The Higher Rating Committee has released its decision that Lars von Trier’s movie set to be screened as of March 14, 2014 titled ‘Nymphomaniac’ ‘cannot be commercially disturbed or screened’ and banned the screening of the movie. The ban on the movie was made in response to the 11th Article of the corresponding regulations that read as follows: ‘The committees formed under the jurisdiction of the Ministry rate and evaluate the movies according to their accordance with public order, public moral values, protection of spiritual and physical well-being of the youth, human dignity and the principles outlined in the constitution as well as the respective trademark and copyright issues that might arise.’

In this respect:

– In what respect was the 11th Article considered? According which set of criteria outlined above was the movie deemed inappropriate?
– The committee has decided to ban the screening instead of placing a ‘+18” certificate on the movie. In what respect has the committee decided that the movie is inappropriate for adults?
– Does the committee have an obligation to ensure freedom of speech in art? If so, in which ways does the committee go about ensuring it?
– Is this committee being used as a censorship committee instead of a rating committee?”

March 13, 2014
Istanbul MP, Sırrı Süreyya Önder