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International statement by filmmakers on the earthquake in Syria and Turkey

On February 6, 2023, two devastating earthquakes hit the eastern and southeastern regions of Turkey and the northwestern region of Syria. In this earthquake, which is one of the largest natural disasters of our century, the number of dead and injured is increasing day by day. According to official figures, more than 40,000 civilians have been killed and more than 100,000 injured in both countries. Hundreds of thousands are homeless, and epidemics, disease and hardship are spreading.

For many trapped, any help came too late, if it came at all. And thousands are still waiting for rescue teams, first aid and the provision of basic necessities.  In the earthquake zones, which are home to tens of thousands of refugees who have fled the war in Syria, food and medical aid, as well as search and rescue efforts, are not enough. In many Syrian and Turkish areas, there is still no sign of government aid more than a week after the earthquake. The natural disaster is also a political disaster.

We, the undersigned international filmmakers* stand with all those affected and make the following demands to the governments of the countries in the region:

  • The authorities of Turkey, Syria and the Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government to open all border crossings unconditionally.
  • Access of aid organizations and volunteers to the earthquake zones must be facilitated. 
  • The neglect of certain areas in rescue, recovery and emergency care must end immediately.
  • Humanitarian aid must not be blocked for political reasons.
  • Accurate flow of information about earthquakes and "freedom of communication" must be ensured.
  • All obstacles to the travel of relatives and kin of earthquake-affected people to and from earthquake zones should be removed - to Europe and everywhere else.
  • There should be effective documentation of the aftermath of the earthquake and an independent investigation into its causes.

We ask our fellow filmmakers present at the Berlinale to spread this call and support our demands.

An initiative of Mitosfilm and medico international


Milena Aboyan, director, Germany | Numan Acar, actor, Germany | Christos Acrivulis, distributor, Germany | Erol Afsin, actor, Germany | Fatih Akin, director, Germany | Mevlut Akkaya, producer, director, Germany | Zülfiye Akkulak, producer, Germany | Zayne Akyol, director, Canada| Bachtyar Ali, writer, Germany| Sahram Alidi, director, France | Özcan Alper, director, Turkey| Mehmet Aktaş, producer, Germany | Siddiq Barmak, director, Afghanistan/France| Charlotte Bock, cutter, Germany | Alexander Bohr, producer, Germany | Monika Borgmann, director, Lebanon | Zubeyde Bulut, actress, Germany | Katja Bürkle, actress, Germany | Umut Dag, director, Austria | Marina Dalarossa, festival coordinator, Germany | Billy Demirtaş, actor, Germany | Talal Derki, producer, Syria/Germany | Katharina Dockhorn, film reviewer, Germany | Lea Drescher, production manager, Germany | Nicolas Ehret, director, Germany | İsmet Elçi, director, Germany | Şewket Emîn, director, Kurdistan Region/Iraq | Aybi Era, actress, Germany | Kristian Feigelson, film historian, France | Julius Feldmeier, actor, Germany | Felix Glück, producer, Germany | Lise Goll, producer, Denmark | Johannes Grehl, sound effects, Germany | Julian Grumer, visual effects, Austria | Scherwan Haji, actor, Finland | Roj Hajo, producer, Germany | Hussin Hassan, director, Kurdistan Region/Iraq | Baran Hêvi, actor, Germany | Ekrem Heydo, director, Germany | Florian Hoffman, actor, Germany | Halime Ilter, actress, Germany | Avan Jamal, actress, Kurdistan Region/UK | Tuna Kaptan, director, Germany | Niki Karimi, director, actress, Iran | Emre Kayiş, director, Turkey | Cavo Kernich, director, Germany | Nazmi Kırık, actor, Germany | Ulrich Köhler, director, Germany | Shawkat Amin Korki, actress, Kurdistan Region/Iraq | Sahim Omar Kalifa, director, Belgium | Tina Mersmann, post production supervisor, Germany | Elaheh Nobakht, producer, Iran | Thaïs Odermatt, filmmaker, Switzerland | Freddy Olsen, Swedish International Film Festival, Sweden | Patrick Orth, director of photography, Germany | Peter Ott, director, Germany | Jana Pape, cinematographer, Germany | Juliane Pielot, distributor, Germany | Ayşe Polat, director, Germany | Kida Khodr Ramadan, actor, Germany | Kathrin Rodemeier, producer, Germany | Gianfranco Rosi, director, Italy | Martin Rott, film musician, Germany | Nesligul Satir, producer, Germany | Dirk Schäfer, director, Germany | Anna Sophie Schindler, actress, Germany | Süheyla Schwenk, director, Germany | Andreas Severin, disctributor, Germany | Havin Al-Sindy, actress, Germany | Franziska Stünkel, director, Germany | Hüseyin Tabak, director, Germany | Marcos Tellechea, producer, Brazil | Ali Ertan Toprak, ZDF Television council, Kurdische Gemeinde, Germany | Sergio Trefaut, director, Portugal | Francesca Vantaggiato, Visionär Film Festival, Germany | Hendrik Verthé, producer, Belgium | Paxton Winters, director, USA | Yüksel Yavuz, director, Germany | Semih Yildiz, cinematographer, Germany | Soleen Yusef, director, Germany | Utku Zeka, actor, Turkey | Ahmet Zirek, actor, Germany

Donations: Earthquake emergency aid

medico partners in northern Syria and Turkey are providing emergency aid after the devastating earthquake. Support them now with a donation! …