Filmmakers Pull Out of Istanbul Festival Over Censorship Row

Nearly two dozen filmmakers and a group of international critics have pulled out of the Istanbul Film Festival after the government prevented the screening of a film about Kurdish militants, in the latest outcry over censorship in Turkey. At least 22 films from the roughly 200 submitted were withdrawn this week and the festival competition canceled, according to organizers, over "Kuzey/Bakur" , the Turkish and Kurdish words for "North", which documents the lives of militants from the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). The Ministry of Culture said in a statement on Monday the film could not be shown because the producers had failed to obtain the necessary paperwork, adding that 'PKK propaganda' had no place in a democratic society.