A planned trip to Cannes by Turkish Minister of Culure and Tourism Mr Omer Gelik has now been cancelled.

The “Centenary of Turkish Cinema” celebrations planned in Cannes this week have been severely curtailed in response to the Turkish mine disaster in which over 280 people lost their lives.

A planned trip to the festival by the Turkish Minister of Culture and Tourism Mr Omer Gelik has now been cancelled.

Gelik had been expected to head a 37 -strong delegation of leading Turkish politicians and bureaucrats. He was due to attend the festival screening of Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s competition contender, Winter Sleep [pictured].

“Regarding the Centenary of Turkish Cinema, our Ministry wanted to have a huge event (in Cannes) and we were preparing for this for quite a long time,” said Dr Ahmet Boyacıoğlu (General Secretary of Festival On Wheels who oversees the Turkish stand in Cannes).

The original celebration plans included two concerts, one on May 16th with Taksim Trio and one on May 19th with Turkish alternative music group Baba Zula. Both have now been cancelled. The Turkish reception on the 19th will go ahead but will be a “silent” event, without music.

Turkey’s Ambassador in Paris Hakki Akil is due in Cannes later in the week.

“We asked the Marché people if they would bring the flags down, which they did. On the other hand, life is going on. We have a film in competition which is quite nice for the filmmaker and also for the country,” Boyacıoğlu commented.

There are likely to be Turkish retrospectives at other European and Asian festivals later in the year to mark the centenary.