ANKARA, Turkey -- Film director Yilmaz Guney, the 1982 Cannes Festival winner for his movie 'Yol' about the plight of Turkey's Kurdish population, was stripped of his citizenship today by the military government.
Guney, believed to be living in exile in France, was serving a murder sentence when he escaped from Turkey in 1981.
The noted Turkish film director turned up briefly last spring to accept the International Critics prize at Cannes, then flew immediately to an undisclosed location because he feared for his life.
Turkey has demanded his extradition from France.
The government order stripping Guney of his citizenship was ratified early today by the military government, along with a separate order stripping the citizenship of singer Cem Karaca, also living in exile in Europe.
Karaca sang songs supporting left-wing and human rights movements in Turkey.
Guney was sentenced to 14 years in prison in absentia after he fled a civilian prison where he was jailed in 1976 for the alleged murder of a prosecutor. He fled his homeland while on home leave from prison.
He also was sentenced to 14 years in jail by a martial law court after being found guilty of praising communism and fomenting class struggle in his book 'On Fascism.' He received a seven-year sentence for another of his books.