Turkish police on Thursday detained a prominent film director who made a controversial movie showing President Recep Tayyip Erdogan under gunpoint in a bloody coup d’etat, AFP reported, citing state media.
The state-run Anadolu news agency said the director, Ali Avci, was detained on suspicion of links to the group blamed by Ankara for the real failed coup last July.
Avci’s new film, “Uyanis” (Awakening), is not in theatres yet but its trailer has already stirred up controversy on the first anniversary of the July 15 attempted coup which Ankara blames on Fethullah Gulen, a U.S.-based cleric who is Erdogan’s longtime rival.
Gulen, who leads from exile a popular movement called Hizmet and split from Erdogan over a corruption scandal in 2013, has denied involvement in the coup and has hinted that the uprising by members of the country’s military could have been “staged” by the government.
Erdogan’s government has repeatedly called on the U.S. to extradite Gulen.
Police also detained another man, identified as Fetullah Karabiber, who was found in Avci’s house and was already wanted by authorities, according to AFP.
Uyanis’s trailer features the killing of Erdogan’s family — including his wife Emine and his son Bilal — in their house in the Kisikli district of Istanbul while Erdogan is shown under gunpoint.
Since the failed coup last year, Turkey has detained thousands of civil servants and closed media outlets with suspected links to Gulen.