The film was shown last summer at the Documentary Film Festival in Istanbul. What was the reaction?

Yildiz: There was an enormous amount of interest. The room was fit to bursting and the film won the prize for best documentary. People were amazed that a film could be made under such difficult circumstances and wanted to know whether there were legal issues.

And have there been?

Yildiz: None so far. I’m still waiting [laughs]. I don’t know when it will happen. This coming March, I’m going to be in Batman and other Kurdish towns in the east of Turkey. There are bound to be difficulties there.

What sort of difficulties?

Yildiz: The usual – criminal charges, accusations of propaganda, arrests.

You don’t seem particularly troubled by this.

Yildiz: The human rights situation in Turkey has been incredibly poor for the past four years. We’re talking about a country where the justice system has died a death. But I’m not afraid, because I haven’t done anything illegal. I will defend myself, and tell the truth. It’s not a crime to make a film about certain real life events. There’s nothing for me to run away from, no reason for me to leave my country. Every mother has the right to see her child. It’s about people’s right to existence. There is no legal basis on which to arrest me.

And yet, the film represents a broken taboo.

Yildiz: Yes, it’s still a taboo for a section of society. But it is a gradual process, in which small impulses can change the overall picture.

Interview by Semiran Kaya

© 2020

Translated from the German by Ayca Turkoglu

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