The 3rd Amity Short Film Festival Sponsorship

The 3rd International Amity Short Film Festival award ceremony was held at the Grand Pera Emek Stage and published online with the contributions of many institutions, especially the Ministry of Culture and Tourism General Directorate of Cinema, supported by Türk Kızılay. This year, the second prize went to Jafar Altafi for the film "Where We Come From", Alberto Marchiori took home the third prize for the film "The Leak", meanwhile, Daniel Perez and Da Yie shared the first prize for the film "Le Syndrome d'Archibald". Türk Kızılay President Dr. Kerem Kınık and Vice President Murat Ellialtı also attended the festival.

Speaking at the Award Ceremony, President Kınık said, “Health is a state of physical and mental well-being. On the one hand, we have to give our body the food it needs. On the other hand, we have to provide it with the arts and culture that our soul needs. We in Türk Kızılay believe that the hunger for art should also be met. We think that art is a tool, a creative language that suits Türk Kızılay. Therefore, we as the entire Türk Kızılay family support this festival. I congratulate the organizers, directors, art lovers, and those who have devoted themselves to this job”.

Hasan Söylemez

Set out to cycle the 54 countries of Africa in January, documentary producer and journalist Hasan Söylemez documented the dreams of African people with this trip. Conducting what can be described as one of the most challenging, adventurous and dangerous journeys one can pursue, Söylemez aimed to create a "Dream Archive" for Africa by asking its people about their dreams.

Underlining the fact that this journey is included in high school textbooks, Hasan Söylemez stated: "The fact that a part of the documentary 'Journey to Dreams', which I started shooting during this trip, was included in the high school textbooks made me both surprised and happy. I used to read Mr. and Mrs. Brown in high school, but now young people and students are reading my journey in Africa in high school English textbooks."

Speaking about the perception that people living in Africa have of Turkey, Söylemez stated that Turkey is well known in Arabic-speaking countries.

Emphasizing the importance of Turkey’s work in Africa, Söylemez stated, "When we go down a little further south to Sub-Saharan Africa, the perception of Turkey changes in some places. For example, they know Turkey very well in the poor districts of Senegal due to the aid efforts our country makes in these areas. TİKA and Türk Kızılay are present and Maarif Vakfı has works with the schools there as well. They know Turkey well there".

Heimei Maru on the Way to the Homeland

The documentary “Heimei Maru on the Way to the Homeland”, which revolves around the friendly relationship between Turkey and Japan was shot with sponsorship from Kızılay. It illustrates the determined stance of the Japanese commander who resisted the Greek warship he encountered and the common fate of the Turkish soldiers and the Japanese crew, who waited in the middle of the sea for 7 months while carrying Turkish captive soldiers from Siberia to Istanbul with the 'Heimei-Maru' ferry at the end of the Second World War.

The documentary, which was produced and directed by Hayriye Savaşçıoğlu, is full of meaning and based on a real story. The documentary was a finalist at the TRT Documentary Film Awards, which is one of the most important documentary film festivals in Turkey, to which many films apply every year.

Heimei Maru on the Way to the Homeland


During the First World War the Ottoman Empire was fighting on 3 continents and 10 fronts. In Russia alone, over 65,000 Ottoman soldiers were in captivity. When the Russian port of Vladivostok was occupied by Japan in 1918, the responsibility of the prisoners was passed on to the Japanese. When a decision was made to send captive Turkish soldiers to Istanbul, the Japanese Heimei-Maru ship was leased.

Heimei-Maru left Vladivostok on 23 February, 1921, with 1,012 captive soldiers, 19 women, and 17 children (The women were the spouses of the Turkish officers whom they married there). The ship's commander was Japanese Lieutenant Colonel Tsumura.

On the fortieth day of the journey, on April 3, 1921, Heimei-Maru entered the Mediterranean. On April 5, 1921, the day they approached the Anatolian villages, they were blocked by a Greek warship. Western Anatolia was under the occupation of Greek soldiers and the Greeks wanted the Turkish captive soldiers on the Heimei-Maru ship to be handed to them. Lieutenant Colonel Tsumura refused to surrender the soldiers based on orders he received. The ship was withdrawn from Piraeus port.

Waiting had begun at sea. Supplies started to run out. The weather was so hot that the sun eventually damaged the clothes of those on board. Having run out of gas, the sleeping quarter was pitch black. The Japanese Lieutenant Colonel and Turkish Officers made efforts to end captivity by writing letters to all necessary institutions.

The League of Nations eventually made the following decision: patients, women and children would be identified and sent to Istanbul. 395 people set out for Istanbul on a small Greek ferry called Olympos.

Japanese Lieutenant Colonel Tsumura and the Japanese crew continued to wait with the remaining Turkish soldiers. Finally, a solution was found - captive Turkish soldiers would wait in Italy. On October 18, 1921, the Heimei-Maru ship reached Asinara, a small rocky island in the Mediterranean. After staying on the Heimei-Maru ship for around 8 months, the soldiers landed on the island. Heimei-Maru left the island with the Japanese crew alone.

Thus, the journey that started from the Russian port of Vladivostok on 23 February, 1921, ended in Asinara, Italy, instead of Istanbul. The return of the Turkish Soldiers from this island to Istanbul would not take place until June 25, 1922.

The main character of this documentary is Mustafa Dokur, the son of one of the soldiers on the ship. He is looking for documents about his father. He has nothing but a faded photograph and a notebook.

The Story of Serhat Önder

Kızılay prepared a special clip in memory of Martyr Serhat Önder, the head of Kızılay Küçükesat Branch, who was martyred in front of the General Staff in Ankara during the treacherous coup attempt on July 15.

The famous singer Mesut Kurtis from Skopje accompanied Dr. Kerem Kınık, the President of Kızılay to sing the song "Serhat’ım", whose lyrics and composition also belongs to Dr. Kerem Kınık.

Kınık said, “The brave Turkish nation resisted the July 15 coup attempt. Our brother Serhat was one of them. As an honorable member of this nation, he was both a Kızılay volunteer and a brother who fought and worked to make this land our homeland. We wish mercy from God for all our martyrs. Our duty is to keep his memory alive with such beautiful activities”.

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