Kurdish woman activist arrested in Turkey


Photo: Mizgin Müjde Arslan

Hundreds of Kurdish activists have been arrested since 2011, among them politicians, writers, journalists and campaigners in Turkey. Activists in Turkey have told us more than one hundred were arrested in the early hours of today. According to figuires from ANF, more than 400 have been arrested since the beginning of february.

House raids and arrests were carried out in 16 different cities. Mizgin Müjde Arslan was among those arrested today, she was born in Mardin ( 8 June, 1981). Arslan is a filmmaker, and writer, currently doing researching aspects of Kurdish stories as a PhD student. She has contributed to both the Turkish and Kurdish cinema. She is currently working on ‘I flew, you stayed’ which is a story inspired by her childhood. Her father died as a freedom fighter when she was very little, and has been a source of inspiration for this film. In 2009, she became the editor on the first book on Kurdish cinema. The book, ‘Kurdish Cinema: Rootlessnes, Border and Death’ has been published in Turkish, with plans to translate it into English and Kurdish.

I spoke to Arslan’s friend, Beri Shalmashi, a Kurdish writer and director based in Holland. She expressed her frustration and dismay with Turkey’s arbitrary arrests of Kurdish activists “It is sad to see how such a beautiful country as turkey is still two-faced”. Shalmashi added, “As a filmmaker, it hurts to see how colleagues in Turkey can’t speak the tongue of their heart, when for a moment it seemed like things were actually changing in a positive way.”

The international media has disregarded and ignored arbitrary arrests of Kurdish journalists, writers and activists, which has given Turkey the green light to continuously arrest Kurds with little accountability. Shalmashi explained “I am disappointed to see how little knowledge and attention there is, on an international level, for these hundreds and hundreds of arrestments and Turkeys policy towards the Kurdish issue throughout the last few years, and this winter in particular. The events lately are obviously no casualties.”

Arslan is currently doing research as a PhD student in the field of cinema.

Profile: Mizgin Müjde Arslan

Arslan was born in 1981 in Mardin, Turkey. She received her undergraduate degree from Dicle University Biology Department. She got her MA degree from the Faculty of Communication in Marmara University from Department of Cinema. In the past she has worked as a journalist in DIHA (Dicle News Agency), “Yedinci Gündem” and “Gündem” newspapers.

She has written essays on culture and cinema, which have been published in various magazines and newspapers. After her first short film “Son Oyun”, she directed other short films “Nora” and “Tov” and a documentary film called “Kirasê Mirinê: Hewîtî”. She is also the author of the book, “Rejisör Atıf Yılmaz” (Director: Atıf Yılmaz) and “Kürt Sineması: Yurtsuzluk, Sınır ve Ölüm” (Kurdish Cinema: Statelessness, Border and Death) and “Yeşim Ustaoğlu: Su, Ölüm ve Yolculuk” (Yesim Ustoglu: Water, Death and Journey).


  • 2006 Son Oyun / The Last Game, short fiction, 2006, 13’ (Producer, Scriptwriter, Director)
  • 2009 Tov / The Seed, short fiction, 2009, 14’ (Producer, Scriptwriter, Director)
  • 2009 Kirasê Mirinê: Hewîtî / A Fatal Dress: Polygamy, feature documentary, 2009, 45’ (Producer, Scriptwriter, Director)
  • 2010 Kamkasa Vit Vit, 2010, 28′ (Producer, Scriptwriter, Director)
  • 2010 Şarê, 2010, 12’50’’ (Co-director, co scriptwriter with Irfan Taşkın)


Son Oyun / The Last Game

  • Marmara University Short Film Competition – Best Cinematograpy Mention Award
  • PAM Environment Film Festival – Encourage Award
  • Tohum Short Film Festival – Love and Friendship Award
  • Mediterranean Short Film Festival of Tangier – Mention Award
  • Boston Documentary and Short Film Competition – The Best Short Film

Tov / The Seed

  • Boston Documentary and Short Film Competition- Mention Awardİstanbul Environment Film Festival, Secondary Award

Please sign this petition calling for the release of Mizgin Müjde Arslan.