July 18, 2014

‘Award ceremony did not take place as no money was available’

The Ministry of National Education has said, in a statement, the award ceremony of a short film contest won by Seleme Gülen, a relative of Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, was not made as monetary resources for the ceremony were not made available to the ministry.

The ministry's statement came on Thursday, two days after the award ceremony of the short film festival was cancelled.

In the statement, the ministry said participation of any high-level members of state protocol at the award ceremony was not scheduled, nor any promises made to the public or to participants in the contest.

Noting that no announcement was made by the ministry that the prizes would not be given to winners or the contest had been cancelled, the statement said the winners in the contest would be offered their prizes as soon as money is made available to the ministry.

In his short film, titled “Apprenticeship,” Gülen highlighted the process of beginning training in the workplace.

Main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) Deputy Chairman Sezgin Tanrıkulu submitted, on Wednesday, a parliamentary question to Education Minister Nabi Avcı about the cancellation of the award ceremony.

Tanrıkulu questioned Avcı whether the cancellation resulted from discrimination against Seleme Gülen and asked the ministry about the rumors that screening of the short film by the Ministry of Education was also to be canceled.

Tanrıkulu also asked if the Ministry had also given up on offering the award, which comes with a cash prize of TL 15,000.

Published on Today's Zaman, 17 July 2014, Thursday

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