A film on the murder of a female Turkish singer by her ex-husband in 1989, has been banned arbitrarily by the mayor in Turkey’s southern city of Kozan where the murderer currently resides.
The ban that came only days before the 8 March International Women’s Day and which was issued without any legal basis, is yet another indicator that femicide in Turkey has such deep roots in the dominant patriarchal ideology and politics.
While the film, ‘Bergen’, made its debut on 4 March in Turkey, Kâzım Özgan, the mayor of Kozan, said he would not allow the film’s public viewing because it ‘contained scenes of violence.’
Özgan, the candidate of the ruling coalition’s partner Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) in the last local elections, was elected to the post in 2019.
The man who murdered Bergen (born Belgin Sarılmışer) had previously thrown nitric acid on her face in 1982, resulting in blindness in her right eye. He was jailed and she continued singing. He came out of prison and murdered her in 1989.
The murderer, currently residing in Kozan, had complained to the press that nobody came to interview him during the shootings of the film, and said that he felt no remorse for what he had done.
While users on social media reacted to Özgan’s statements, the actress who played Bergen in the film, Farah Zeynep Abdullah, responded by sending him an IQ test.