Meeting with Erdogan, film entertainers back democratic initiative
Many prominent figures from the Turkish film world on Saturday lent support to the government's democratic initiative at a meeting with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Erdogan hosted leading producers, directors, actors and actresses for breakfast at his working office at Istanbul's Dolmabahce Palace, where he asked them to endorse the democratic initiative, meant to expand citizens' freedoms, improve respect for human rights and differences, and upgrade the country's democratic standards. His call was welcomed by all who attended the Saturday meeting, a channel of dialogue rarely employed by past heads of government. After shaking hands with each of the 62 invitees, Erdogan explained the government's project to them using film jargon. "The state is now taking care of Turkey's problems using a wide shot-close layout. We want the grass to not be crushed while the elephants scuffle," he said, adding that the government sincerely wants to solve deep-seated, long-ignored issues. "The problems that were in your lenses for many years are now in ours as well," he said. Also present at the meeting were Interior Minister Besir Atalay, Education Minister Nimet Cubukcu, Culture and Tourism Minister Ertugrul Gunay and Justice and Development Party (AK Party) Deputy Chairman Huseyin Celik. Erdogan stressed that the initiative would be incomplete without film community support. "Deep in my heart I believe that you will shoulder the process and lend your support, contribute, and work to solve Turkey's vexing problems," he said. Famous producers, actors and actresses such as Yilmaz Erdogan, Kenan Imirzalioglu, Necati Sasmaz, Cem Yilmaz, Ata Demirer, Demet Akbag, Cem Ozer, Meltem Cumbul, Hulya Avsar, Osman Inav and Semih Kaplanoglu were in attendance. They expressed their satisfaction with the meeting, lauding the openness showed by Erdogan as well as his commitment to solving the problems that the initiative aims to address.