Turkish Television to Air Egoyan’s Film about Armenian Genocide

ANKARA (AFP)–A private television station will broadcast a movie about the Armenian genocide for the first time in Turkey–where the subject still arouses nationalistic sentimen’s–a spokesman for the channel said.

Kanalturk decided to show "Ararat" by Canadian-Armenian director Atom Egoyan after a survey of viewers revealed that 72 percent of the participants wanted to see the film–the spokesman’said.

"We will show the movie with no cuts or censoring," he added.

The film’s showing–at prime time on Thursday–will be followed by a roundtable discussion by Turkish and Armenian intellectuals and historians about the Genocide–which took place during the last years of the Ottoman Empire.

Even though the Turkish government did not prohibit the showing of the film–which was released in 2002–an Istanbul company was forced in 2004 to drop plans to screen the movie because of potential protests that would have required police presence in theaters.

Turks have only recently begun to discuss the Armenian genocide of 1915-1923–one of the most controversial episodes in Turkish history. To this day–Turkey categorically rejects that genocide took place.

Egoyan’s film deals with the estranged members of a contemporary Armenian family–who are faced with both Turkey’s denial of genocide and their own individual plight.

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