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2016 - EU Human Rights Film Days


Human rights violations have sadly been rising across the world.  Thousands of people lose their lives in wars and conflicts.  Thousands of women, children, and the elderly and young people are being left injured or disabled.  Just as many people are being displaced and having to leave their homes and countries; the statistics on refugees and asylum seekers grow exponentially with each passing day.

Terrorism and the violence it breeds is never a ‘distant possibility’ now for any country.  No country can claim with absolute certainty that terrorist attacks will not take place on their home soil, in their city squares or in their airports.  Unfortunately, human rights violations are not limited to war and terrorism.  The rapidly growing tendency towards violence is now visible in all walks of life.  Women and children in particular are defined in court documents as “the group subjected to the gravest human rights violations”.

Refugees fleeing from a senseless war in our common neighbourhood continued to pour into Türkiye and the EU, stretching support systems to the brink, but they say that every challenge is also an opportunity.

Again 2016 has been a very difficult year for human rights around the world, but the struggle for human rights continues, here and in the European Union. 
“Filmmakers” are among the leading human rights activists who keep our hopes alive.  They not only help expose human rights violations, they also raise awareness and sensitivity on issues concerning human rights.  Their contribution cannot be overlooked, as awareness is the key to waging an effective struggle on human rights.

In order to jointly reflect on all the values of human rights which form the foundation of the European Union, the Delegation of European Union to Türkiye is honoured to bring you, in collaboration with the Embassies and Cultural Centres of the EU Member States and with the Turco-British Association, these films as part of the European Union Human Rights Film Days.  The European Union Human Rights Film Days is being held for the 6th time this year to mark Human Rights Day, which is celebrated each year on 10 December.

These documentaries made by directors from the Member States will be screened for audiences in Ankara and İstanbul from 5 to 18 December, in Giresun from 8 to 11 December, in Şanlıurfa from 9 to 11 December and in Mersin from 13 to 15 December.  There will also be a screening for the children at the Diyarbakır Fidanlık Camp on the closing of day of the 6th European Union Human Rights Film Days on 18 December.  The film screenings are open to the public and free of charge.

The nearly 40 films that will be screened for our viewers are the most emphatic testament to the European Union’s sensitivity towards the issue of human rights.  These documentaries, which expose violations and are heavily critical of such atrocities, leave us all with the following message: “do not submit to violations, do not give up the fight”.

We invite you to view these documentaries and to take part in the panel discussions that will be held during film intervals.

Film directors, producers and experts from the EU Member States will discuss these films with esteemed colleagues from Türkiye and answer questions from the audience.

We would be delighted to see anyone who wishes to engage with the discussion to stand up and say, “I have something to say. I have an opinion about human rights!” 

We hope you enjoy the screenings and hope that you have a productive discussion.