A private television station will broadcast a controversial movie on the massacres of Armenians during World War I for the first time in Turkey where the subject still arouses nationalist feelings, a spokesman for the channel said Wednesday.
Kanalturk decided to show "Ararat" by Canadian director Atom Egoyan, an ethnic Armenian, after a survey of viewers revealed that 72 percent of the participants wanted to see the film, the spokesman said. "We will show the movie with no cuts or censoring," he added.
The film's showing, at prime time on Thursday, will be followed by a roundtable discussion by Turkish and Armenian intellectuals and historians on the killings during the last years of the Ottoman Empire, the predecessor of Turkey.
Even though the Turkish government gave the go-ahead for the showing of the film, which was released in 2002, an Istanbul company was forced in 2004 to drop plans to screen the movie because of potential protests that would have required police presence in theatres. Turks have only recently begun to discuss the Armenian massacres between 1915 and 1917, one of the most controversial episodes in Turkish history.
Egoyan's film deals with the estranged members of a contemporary Armenian family, who are faced with both Turkey's denial of genocide and their own individual plight.