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Cinemas are becoming more common in many of the touist resosrts. Please see your representative for details. Films are generally in English with Turkish subtitles.
After the first cinematography performance of the Lumière brothers at the end of 1885 in Paris the art of cinema was eventually seen in Turkey. The Destruction of the Russian Monument at St. Stephans filmed by Fuat Uzkınay in 1914 was the first Turkish documentary. The Wedding of Himmet Ağa, the filming of which began in 1914 and was completed in 1919, was the first full-length movie to be produced in Turkey. During this period, thematic films were also produced along with newsreels related to the First World War. However, none of these films were independent of the influence of the theater.
The stage actor Muhsin Ertuğrul, who began directing films when the first private movie studio was established in İstanbul in 1922, had a lasting influence on Turkish films until the 1950s. "Ateşten Gömlek" (The Great Ordeal-1923), that related a story taking place during the National War of Independence and in which the first Turkish actresses had roles; "İstanbul Sokakları" (The Streets of İstanbul-1931), the first Turkish film with a soundtrack; and "Bir Millet Uyanıyor" (A Nation Awakens-1932), are among the most important films of Muhsin Ertuğrul, who directed more than 30 films throughout his distinguished career. Only one or two films were being produced in a year until the 1950s and the influence of theater on cinema was very intense Movies, which have a real cinematographic narration and style and are not overly burdened by the influence of the theater, began to he produced by Lütfi Akad just before 1950. He was inspired by the poetic realism of the French cinema and the American Film Noire and integrated the ideas and styles he borrowed from these cinema schools with Turkeys own sources. During this period which ended in 1960, approximately 60 films were produced every year. Turkish cinema experienced a revival after the 1961 Constitution went into effect. Film directors such as Metin Erksan, Halit Refiğ, Ertem Göreç, Duygu Sağıroğlu, Nevzat Pesen and Memduh Ün made successful films with social contexts. These films had very different themes, scenarios and narrative styles. In fact, "Susuz Yaz" (The Dry Summer-1964), in which Metin Erksan revealed the conditions in rural areas, became the first Turkish film receiving international recognition. It won an award at the Berlin Film Festival. Meanwhile, the number of films produced reached 150-200 per year after the mid-60s. The political atmosphere adversely affected the Turkish cinema which was developing on social and realistic lines. But most of these films declined in quality and a film inflation took place. This increase, when coupled with the mass production of TV sets at the end of 1968 led to a serious crisis.
New directors emerged in the 1970s, notably Yılmaz Güney, Süreyya Duru, Zeki Ökten, Şerif Gören, Fevzi Tuna, Ömer Kavur, Özcan Arca, Korhan Yurtsever and Ali Özgentürk. They were influenced by the serious films of Lütfi Akad and tried to reflect political, economic and social issues. They produced dozens and dozens of artistic movies which gained considerable recognition both at home and abroad. After the 1980s the relations between the cinema industry and the government improved and the Turkish cinema started to become known abroad. In this period films that dealt with psychology, social realities and womens rights were produced.
The 1990s were the most successful years of Turkish cinema. There was a distinct increase in the quality of films produced. The increase in the number of university departments providing education in this field, the emergence of a new generation of directors, actors and actresses who had received high quality education, state support for cinema, competition between cinema and television, and increasing international recognition are among the main factors which have contributed to the recent increase in the average quality of Turkish films and which have heralded a brighter future for Turkish cinema. The last example of this has been director Nuri Bilge Ceylans achievement. The Director was awarded the Grand Jury Prize in 2003 at the 56th Cannes Film Festival with his film Uzak (Far).
Movie Theaters and Moviegoers.
Turkish cinema started to appeal the masses in the 1950s. In this period the type of films produced were designed to entertain the public instead of dealing with problems. The increase in the number of films went hand in hand with increases in the number of movie theaters and open-air summer theaters. But the movie industry lost the interest of audiences due to social upheavals and the increasing popularity of television during the 1970s. The influence of video aggravated this in the 1980s and the traditional moviegoer mostly stayed at home. Many movie theaters were closed and the Turkish film industry faced a significant financial problem. In this period the Turkish viewers preferred Hollywood style films. This trend still continues to the present day. The Turkish cinema began producing psychosocial, psycho-cultural and socio-cultural films after 1980, and it succeeded in recapturing the interest of the masses, especially that of the younger generation and university students.
The number of movie theaters in Turkey was 300 in 1999 and this figure reached 650 in 2002.
The Young New Wave.
The cinema was evaluated as an influential branch of art by the younger generation after 1985. Scenario competitions organized and funded by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and the notable activities for the production of short films in the universities, brought to life a cinema of the intellectual young generation. In fact, Gizli Yüz (Hidden Face) by Ömer Kavur, Piyano Piyano Bacaksız (Piano Piano Kid) by Tunç Başaran, İmdat ile Zarife (İmdat and Zarife) by Nesli Çölgeçen, Hoşçakal Yarın (Goodbye Tomorrow) by Reis Çelik, Hamam (the Turkish Bath) and Harem Suare (Harem Evening) by Ferzan Özpetek, Eşkiya (Bandit) by Yavuz Turgul, Üçüncü Sayfa (The Third Page) by Zeki Demirkubuz, Propaganda by Sinan Çetin, Salkım Hanımın Taneleri (Lady Bunchs Berries) by Tomris Giritlioğlu, Mayıs Sıkıntısı (May Trouble) and Uzak (Far) by Nuri Bilge Ceylan and Güneşe Yolculuk (Journey to the Sun) by Yeşim Ustaoğlu received domestic and foreign awards and dominated the contemporary Turkish cinema scene. The young Turkish cinema uses psychosocial, cultural and historical materials and questions both the present and the future. These trends have led to the acceptance of the Turkish cinema in the international scene.
International Relations of Turkish Cinema.
Many agreements have been signed with European countries for the development of the cinema sector. A Cinema Joint Venture Agreement was signed with France in 1995, a European Cinematographic Joint Venture Agreement was signed in 1997, and recently there have been efforts to sign a Cinema Joint Production Agreement with Italy. The Ministry of Culture, which has undertaken the national coordination of EUREKA Audiovisual, an important establishment in the audio-visual field, is also a member of EURIMAGES. The establishment works efficiently to ensure that Turkish movies participate in important international festivals like the Oscars, Berlin, Venice and Cannes film festivals.