Turkish Film Director Boycotts Swiss Premiere over Minaret Ban

World | December 4, 2009, Friday // 15:26|  views

German movie director Fatih Akin pictured at the 66th International Exhibition of Cinema Art in Venice in September 2009, where his film 'Soul Kitchen' won the 'Great Award of the Jury’. Photo by BGNES

Fatih Akin, award-winning movie director of Turkish origin, has announced he will boycott the Swiss premiere of his latest film "Soul Kitchen", in protest at the recent ban on minarets.

In an open letter sent on Friday to the Swiss press, Akin said that the outcome of last Sunday’s referendum "conflicts with my understanding of humanism, tolerance and the belief that harmonious co-existence of peoples of differing backgrounds, races and religions must be possible."

On Sunday, Switzerland had voted in a referendum to ban the future building of minarets, embarrassing the Swiss government, and provoking international condemnation from followers of Islam and non-Muslims alike.

Akin stated that he felt the outcome was a personal affront to him because, "as a child of Muslim parents who do not see minarets as symbols of political Islam but rather simply the complete architecture of their houses of worship, I feel personally affected by this referendum."

The movie, "Soul Kitchen", takes a light-hearted look at the multicultural mix in his home town. It won this year's Special Jury Prize at the Venice Film Festival, and Akin was due to present the film at its Swiss premiere in Zurich on December 16.

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Tags: Fatih Akin, Turkish, Switzerland, minaret ban, Referendum, Soul Kitchen, movie premiere


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