Arrest warrant for filmmaker Sibel Tekin lifted

The arrest warrant for Sibel Tekin has been lifted. The filmmaker was arrested in 2022 because she filmed a police van while shooting a documentary about climate change in summer and winter.

The arrest warrant for documentary filmmaker Sibel Tekin has been lifted. A court in Ankara ordered the 45-year-old to be released from Sincan women's prison, but imposed a ban on leaving the country as well as reporting requirements. The trial, at Ankara's 26th Criminal Division, will resume on 23 February.

Sibel Tekin was arrested at her home in Ankara in mid-December. The detention was motivated by the recording of a police van while shooting a documentary about climate change. Police searched her apartment, confiscated two computers, hard disks, a camera and several books.

During the interrogation by the public prosecutor, Tekin was accused of being a member of an "armed terrorist organization", also because of earlier recordings which included footage shot in Dersim.

The indictment was presented to the court two weeks later. It stated that Tekin did not accidentally film the police van with her camera, as alleged, but "deliberately and knowingly filmed it for spying purposes on the instructions of the illegal organization". To this day, the public prosecutor's office and the police have not been able to agree on which "organization" Tekin allegedly works for.

Sibel Tekin was born in 1977 in the central Anatolian province of Kırşehir. She has filmed numerous social events, such as the Gezi uprising in 2013, the tobacco workers' strike in 2009/2010 and the 10 October 2015 attack in Ankara. From 2000 to 2007, Tekin worked for the state broadcaster TRT, among others.