The 15th International Rendezvous Film Festival has kicked off with a ceremony held in Istanbulâ€™s Cemal Resit Rey saloon.
Turkeyâ€™s EU minister, Egemen Bagis, attended the ceremony, saying â€œIt is no coincidence that countries that have a rich cultural heritage are also democratic and developed.â€
Speaking at the ceremony, where he was issued an award by the festival team for contribution to the arts, Bagis said, â€œThis festival organized by the Turkey Cinema and Audiovisual Culture Association (TURSAK) is a significant development in terms of culture and arts in Turkey.â€
Bagis said he had been highly affected by the words of TURSAK president Engin Yigitgil, who said culture develops with sharing. Noting that Turkey is departing from taboos, Bagis said cinema has the power to focus on problems. â€œFor a very long time, as a government, we have also focused on the problems of society and we are trying to solve them.â€
Bagis also noted that Turkey has experienced a lack of dialog for some time. â€œWe have been afraid to speak about Alevi and Sunni problems, we have been afraid to talk about civil and army problems. We always thought that it was possible to ignore them.â€
Mentioning the close relationship between arts and politics â€“ specifically democracy â€“ he said, â€œCountries who have a developed art life are also developed in terms of democratized society.
If there is pressure on a country, then it is very hard to develop arts and culture in that country and if there is freedom, democracy develops.
Taboos need to be broken down in order to develop arts and democracy. With this Human rights also develop,â€ he added, stressing that Turkey needs to develop its arts and human rights.
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