IZMIR, Turkey — Merve Dizdar, the first Turkish woman to win the best actress award at the Cannes Film Festival on Saturday, has caused the latest flare-up between Turkey’s conservative elite and the liberal culture sector, which fears further crackdowns in President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s third decade in power.
Dizdar, an actress with a slight figure and a humorous, asymmetrical face, has become a dual symbol since her emotional acceptance speech at the international film festival on Saturday night, where she paid homage to Turkish women’s never-ending struggle for rights. Her speech immediately trended on Twitter, with her fans lauding her outspoken criticism of Turkey’s deteriorating record on women’s rights, particularly after two parties with arch-conservative views on women received seats in the new parliament elected two weeks ago. The two parties, Huda-Par and New Welfare, want to scrap laws protecting women against domestic violence, arguing that they break down “family unity,” and want LGBT clubs in the country closed down.
— Filmmor (@Filmmor_) May 27, 2023