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Fictional president falls victim to censorship in Turkey

A short comedy film becomes the latest victim of censorship in Turkey, as authorities seem to grow pricklier ahead of a critical plebiscite in April.
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As Turkey moves closer to a crucial referendum on the sweeping executive powers its president wants, the authorities have made it clear that nothing about executive presidents — even imaginary ones — can be a laughing matter. The creators of a short comedy film learned this the hard way as their fictional schnitzel-craving president was barred from debuting on the big screen.

Co-directed by Kaan Arici and Ismet Kurtulus, the 22-minute film — “The Last Schnitzel” — stars Haluk Bilginer, one of Turkey’s finest male actors. It features a president “in an imaginary country in a very distant future,” Kurtulus told Al-Monitor. As all nations are scrambling to leave the vanishing Earth for Mars, the president of the Grand Turkish Republic wants to have a chicken schnitzel and sends his chief aide out to find him the dish. This, however, is no easy task, as food no longer exists on Earth, where all humans take nutrition pills.

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