Director Keremo presents doc on life of lawyer Epözdemir

Kurdish director and poet Keremo (Kerem Tekoğlu) has made a documentary on the life of lawyer Şevket Epözdemir.

Epözdemir was a lawyer and DEP Tatvan District Chair and Human Rights Association Tatvan District Representative, who was forcibly disappeared on 25 November 1993 in Tatvan.

Director Keremo, who was arrested for serving as a host at the 2019 Newroz rally in Kocaeli on 24 March and was released after spending two months in Kandira F-Type Prison, decided to tell the story of lawyer Epözdemir in his new documentary, called “Humanist”.

Keremo is the author of a documentary called “Dino” about the life of cartoonist Asaf Koçak, who lost his life in the Sivas Massacre.

By telling the story of Epözdemir’s life, Keremo shed light on the darkness of the 1990s when many forcibly disappeareances were carried out by special army team, Jitem.

Who is Şevket Epözdemir

On the morning of 25 November 1993 lawyer Epözdemir left his house to go to his office, which was nearby. At around 8 p.m. the same day Mr Epözdemir telephoned his wife, Sakine Epözdemir, and told her that he was leaving his office to come home. When he failed to arrive the family became concerned and contacted the authorities.

At midday the following day Epözdemir’s wife went to the police station in Tatvan, where she asked the police officers to find her husband. She told the police officers that when her husband had failed to come home the previous evening she had telephoned the local prosecutor and asked him whether her husband had been arrested.

After the prosecutor had told her that her husband had not been arrested, she had informed members of her family about her husband’s disappearance, and then waited up all night.

Unbeknown to Sakine Epözdemir, some half an hour before she went to the police station the body of her husband had been found by soldiers in the vicinity of the nearby town of Güroymak, in a ditch at the side of a road which connected the town of Tatvan to the city of Bitlis.

He was blindfolded and there was a gunshot wound on his face. The police officers who subsequently arrived at the scene informed the soldiers that it could be the body of Şevket Epözdemir, whose disappearance had been reported to them by his family.

Who is Kerem Tekoğlu

Kerem Tekoğlu was born in Farqin in 1984. He and his colleagues founded 11 institutions and associations in 10 years. He worked for Kurdish TVs as program director. He also produced 6 documentaries and movies and participated in many festivals.

About the documentary Dino

Asaf Koçak was born in 1958 in Yerkoy, Yozgatê. 300 years earlier his family immigrated from Kurmanc mountain to the  Middle Anatolia and settled there. 

Asaf and his family are Kurdish, his mother didn’t speak Turkish. After graduation from university, Asaf worked as a teacher. But after a short time he realized that this work was not fit for him, so he decided that even if he died from hunger, he will always fight against oppression and through film and drawing he will fight against unjust system.

Watch the trailer