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Wednesday, 7 August, 2002, 11:31 GMT 12:31 UK
Turkish star faces prosecution
Lale Mansur
Mansur may face prison when she returns to Turkey
One of Turkey's most famous film actresses, Lale Mansur, could face a 15-year prison sentence because of her outspoken views on the country's censorship laws.

Mansur, who was Istanbul State Opera's longest-serving prima ballerina before taking up acting, has already received a suspended five-year sentence under Turkey's anti-terrorism laws.


I am terrified of going to jail but I can't help myself

Lale Mansur

She now faces new trials, along with several other artists, relating to the publication of books by banned authors.

"We are just trying to push our government to change the laws," said Mansur, who is appearing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

She told BBC World Service that although she is sometimes "very scared", there was "no other way for me".

"We don't want to provoke violence, only discussion," she said.

Mobbed

"People know that I am not from any party, I am not a separatist, I am not a terrorist, but I am a well-known person in Turkey and if they want to put me in jail they will be in difficulty."

Having won the Golden Orange, the local equivalent of a Bafta, Mansur is so popular in Turkey that she is regularly mobbed in the street.

Mansur said that she faced prosecution along with artists, musicians and writers in Turkey, and that they called themselves "the initiative for freedom of thought".

Despite fearing the "impact that 15 years would have on me and my family", the actress remains determined to put her fame to use.

Fringe play

"I can't understand other people," she said.

"They are living in Mars. This is Turkey there is so much to do. If you are living in this country you can't just shut your eyes and live your life."

The screen star is currently appearing in a play called Ordinary Miracles at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

At the end of her Scottish run she plans to return to Turkey to begin work on a new film.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
Lale Mansur speaks to Everywoman
"We might not end up in prison but you never know in Turkey"

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See also:

06 Aug 02 | Arts
22 Oct 98 | Europe
06 Mar 01 | Entertainment
04 Mar 02 | Film
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