Book on Yeşilçam raises eyebrows
ISTANBUL- Hürriyet Daily News
Actor Tarık Akan says the book is ‘discrimination’ like he has never seen before. Hürriyet photoA new book published in Turkey titled “Yeşilçam Serpintileri” (Sprinkles from Yeşilçam) raised eyebrows for defining Turkish actors and actresses by their political views, ethnicities and acting roles.
The word “Yeşilçam” (Green Pine) refers to the Turkish film industry in the same way that Hollywood refers to the American film industry.
The ethnic and political definitions used in the book to define artists raised controversy.
Tarık Akan, a Turkish actor of Yeşilçam, said the book was “discrimination” like he had never seen before in the world. Turkish actor İlyas Salman said, “It is not understandable to discriminate and differentiate people like this.”
According to a daily Hürriyet article, Filmsan Foundation President Merter Fosforoğlu accused the publishing house for the discriminatory words in the book. The publishing house responded to his accusation by saying, “We have withdrawn the book from the market. We will do the necessary changes and publish it again.”
Fosforoğlu organized a press conference upon the criticism the book received. He said the political and ethnic comments were not in place in the book when being sent to the publisher, but the publisher house had inserted them itself.
“As far as we know, the publishing house put those definitions in after we prepared it and sent it to publishing,” Fosforoğlu said. “We will publish a new book, and all of these misunderstandings and wrongs will be corrected.”
The book was published with the support of the Culture and Tourism Ministry. According to Anatolia news agency, Culture Minister Ertuğrul Günay said there had been a problem of confidence in terms of the book’s publishing. “From now on we will analyze the offers that reach us.”
Actors and actresses react
Akan, one of Turkey’s acknowledged artists, was defined in the book as “revolutionary” and a “left-wing supporter.” Akan said, “Yes, I do support the left wing, and I also support a secular government and Atatürk principles. However, I think what was written for my friends was very shameful. The book discriminates people.”
On the other hand, Turkish actor İlyas Salman said, “They have defined me as a Kurd, because I have played Kurdish roles for a very long time. They also wrote that I am a Türkmen Alevi. Yes, I am a Türkmen Alevi, and I do not think that this is something to be ashamed of.”
Ahu Tuğba, a popular actress in the 1980s, was accused of being a “prostitute” in Turkish movies. “I have played roles of young Turkish girls who were caught in a trap and tackled social problems. I have worked for Turkish cinema for whole my life, and this is how they define me in a book. Shame on them!” said Tuğba.