As Kemalist clergy excommunicates Can Dündar,

…he produces one of the most humane portrayals of Atatürk.

  The film Mustafa demonstrates once again that Kemalist clergy (intellectuals, opinion leaders, cultural producers), cannot accept Mustafa Kemal as a human being. It is a suprahuman heroic entity. He has prophetic qualities. Any other portrayal is blasphemy. Can Dündar is a well-intentioned Kemalist but he could not escape being accused by these people and their militant disciples. I have watched the movie/documentary with a girl who started blurbing against the director before the movie and continued afterwards. This good work of biography has no meaning for her and others.

I would recommend the movie. It is too personal, it might ignore some of the social aspects of the early Republican years but it certainly gives clues to understand. Oh boy, those men and women around him in his later years are so familiar. He was surrounded by sycophants. He lost his closest friends and allies in political trials and he ended up surrounded with these people who would be the base of later cult of Kemalism. The cult was the reason of their existence and so they fed them. This still continues today.

Mustafa Kemal is a heavy smoker and drinker. He cannot sleep at nights, lonely and he cannot seem to have long term relations. So what? I would not lose my respect because of these but today’s Kemalist clergy is socially conservative as much as Islamists are. So this portrayal hurts them….

Mustafa the movie divides Turkey with a portrait of the ‘real’ Ataturk – Europe, World – The Independent

National hero depictedas solitary hard drinker by documentary-maker

By Nicholas Birch in Istanbul
Friday, 7 November 2008
Directed by Can Dundar, a leading documentary-maker with an until now spotless secularist record, Mustafa is the first Turkish film to emphasise the private side of the man whose stern features preside over public buildings across the country

Turks venerate Ataturk, the founder of the republic and architect of arguably the most successful social modernisation programme of the 20th century. How much they really want to know him is questionable, however, judging from the furor"

‘Mustafa’ or ‘Kemal’?

By EMRE AKÖZ SABAH on Turkish Press Review

I asked why do you suppose they named this documentary "Mustafa" and not "Kemal"? The answer was immediate: "’Mustafa’ is a more sincere name, one closer to the people of the nation." That is the perception.

Lonely drinker with a weakness for women: it’s Ataturk on film – Times Online

Turkcell’s fear of misunderstanding on ‘Mustafa’ – Turkish Daily News Oct 31, 2008


In Columnists

“Mustafa,” a documentary by journalist-documentary maker Can Dündar aimed at bringing into the spotlight the parts of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk’s life that have until today remained in the dark, was released in theaters across Turkey on Oct. 29, Republic Day.

Atatürk ignoramuses

By SABAH EMRE AKÖZ on Turkish Press Review

Turkcell has come under fire from Aydin Doğan’s media group for stating its intent to sponsor the film “Mustafa,” which depicts the private life of Atatürk, and then later deciding not to.

New movie about Ataturk in Turkey, triumph of Bregovic’s music

The individual Mustafa

A heated debate is continuing in the country… The debate is about a film on the individual life of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the greatest national hero for Turks, with a focus on his private life. Since the film’s premiere to high society and media representatives of Istanbul last week, some people have been defending it, saying that Can Dündar — who not only wrote the script and was the producer of the “documentary” but also was the story teller — provided a glimpse of the individual Mustafa that Turks knew little about despite their great affection for the soldier and statesman Atatürk, the founder of the modern republic. Some people, on the other hand, were upset seeing their great

‘Mustafa’ sparks debate on Republic’s history

The title of Can Dündar’s new documentary “Mustafa” invokes the childhood name of Mustafa Kemal Attatürk, offering a human face to the founder of the Republic. But the

‘Secularization’ and the ‘Mustafa’ documentary

By YENİ ŞAFAK KÜRŞAT BUMİN on Turkish Press Review

As the ongoing discussions about it suggest, "Mustafa" is one of those movies about which you could talk without actually seeing it. It is true that this does not seem pretty reasonable at first sight. But, unfortunately, this is the case.

Mustafa of Thessalonica

Ariana Ferentinou

Let’s not worship him, let’s just love him

By SABAH, NAZLI ILICAK on Turkish Press Review

For years and years we warned “Let’s not make an idol out of Atatürk; instead, break taboos about him.” As many others have done, we for a long time asserted that in a democratic country, general knowledge of the truth would not corrode the value of the great people who served this nation.

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