The feature documentary "Bakur" ("North") directed by Çayan Demirel and Ertuğrul Mavioğlu invites us to an in depth and up close exploration of one of the sides of the undeclared war going on in Turkey for decades, the PKK guerillas.

To date, the PKK has lost over 30 thousand of its members in combat against the Turkish State. What is the PKK's perception of the state, justice and authority? What constitutes the foundation of their relationship to the people? How did the Kurdish movement evolve over the years into a battle for freedom founded on the women's rights movement? How do the guerillas who have been living under wartime conditions for 40 years manage to survive all year-round in the harsh outdoor living conditions in the mountains?

In search for answers to all these questions, "Bakur" introduces audience to men and women who have chosen to join the armed resistance in order to create a new future. The film takes the viewer on a visit right to the center of their lives. It witnesses life in three guerilla camps located in three different regions of Kurdish territory within the Turkish borders. Filming took place in the summer and fall months of 2013 in various camps in North and South Kurdistan, primarily in Dersim, Amed and Botan. This was the first time a professional camera had ever accessed these camps. The film lets the viewer to listen to the history of the PKK movement recounted first-hand, it tells the personal stories of the guerillas and we learn their hopes and expectations for the future.

"Bakur" gives audience the metaphorical "keys to the mountains", and invites them to view the PKK from a completely new perspective.


Çayan Demirel was born in Istanbul in 1977. After completing his degree at the Faculty of Economics, he started working in documentary film in the year 2000 with oral history projects. In 2006 he completed his documentary "38" about the Dersim events, and he established SURELA FILM PRODUCTION company in 2008. In 2009 he won the "Best Documentary" award for his film "Prison Number 5: 1980-84" at the Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival, the Ankara Film Festival and SİYAD. His documentary entitled ‘Dr. Şivan’ (2013) is about the life of Dr. Sait Kırmızıtoprak, a Kurdish intellectual who lived between 1935-1971 and who was the founder of the first leftist Kurdish guerilla movement. Çayan Demirel's documentaries have been shown at many international film festivals, universities and NGO's. "BAKUR" is the director's latest feature length documentary Çayan Demirel



Ertuğrul Mavioğlu was 19 years old at the time of the September 12th, 1980 military coup and he spent 8 years in jail for political reasons during the period between 1980 – 1991. During his periods of freedom, he completed his degree in journalism. He worked nearly 30 years as a journalist at various newspapers and television stations. He has received two awards for investigative journalism from the Progressive Journalists Association. He is the author of an oral history trilogy about the September 12, 1980 junta, as well as a co-author with Ahmet Şık of a two-volume work about the counterinsurgents in Turkey. Mavioğlu's last book was published in 2012 and was an analysis of the media. In 2006 he was a co-director along with Sedat Yılmaz of a 26 minutes short documentary entitled ‘Apoletli Adalet’. "BAKUR" is the director's first feature length documentary. Ertuğrul Mavioğlu