Film director Akın boycotts Switzerland due to minaret ban

Leading Turkish-German director Fatih Akın has said he will boycott the Swiss premiere of his new film as a protest against Sunday’s referendum vote to ban the construction of minarets in the country. In an open letter, Akın voiced his dismay and complained that the Swiss ban contradicted his belief in the “harmonious co-existence of peoples.”

“Soul Kitchen,” Akın’s comedy about the multicultural day-to-day life in the German city of Hamburg, is due to be shown in Zurich on December 16. In his letter, the director said he would not accompany his film to the country.
“As a child of Muslim parents who do not see minarets as symbols of political Islam but, rather, simply the complete architecture of their houses of worship, I feel personally affected by the referendum. That is why I refuse to travel to Switzerland,” he wrote. The minaret ban has sparked heated debates and indignant reactions from countless groups and individuals worldwide.