Turkish cult classic Hababam Sınıfı preserved for posterity
ISTANBUL - Doğan News Agency
As well as silicon statues, the museum is decorated with photos from film frames, while photos from actors who have since died are at the desks.Immortalizing hijinks and shenanigans for new generations, the class where Turkey’s cult comedy movie series “Hababam Sınıfı” (Chaos Class) was made has been converted into a museum at Istanbul’s Adile Sultan Pavilion.
The museum, which features silicon statues of the stars of the movie, the late Adile Naşit and Kemal Sunal, as well as Münir Özkul and Halit Akçatepe, was recently opened at a ceremony held at the pavilion in Istanbul’s Koşuyolu neighborhood.
The museum was made possible with the support of the Istanbul Education Directorate. Provincial Education Director Muammer Yıldız, as well as actors Akçatepe, Ercan Gezmiş, Ahmet Arıman and Tuncay Akça, were present at the ceremony together with members of the public.
“This museum is based on the school and teacher. We have this unforgettable film of Turkish cinema thanks to them. We did not even have television in the past but [today] we have many tools as well as television. Today, we fight to protect our children from TV series based on schools. But we have learned many things from ‘Hababam Sınıfı’ films. These people have done a great job that should be appreciated.”
“Although we’ve watched this film many times, [it’s as if we’re watching it for the first time each time], said Gezmiş, who played the character Postal Rıza in the film. “Our director and our great actors are dead but I know that they see us from somewhere and feel the same honor. One of our friends, Mehmet Çatay, said: ‘When we made this film, my grandfather was alive and he was watching it.’ Then his father watched it, his son watched it, and I hope that his grandchildren will watch it, too. I thank everyone for giving us this pride.”
Visitors to the classroom are welcomed by silicon statues of Halit Akçatape, nicknamed “Güdük Necmi,” who enters the heater to cheat on an exam, and Özkul, nicknamed “Kel [Bald] Mahmut,” who is standing beside him. Naşit’s statue is seen in front of the teacher’s desk and rings a bell while Sunal, nicknamed “İnek Şaban” (Şaban the Nerd) is seen sitting on the desk.
The walls of the classroom are decorated with photos from film frames, while photos from actors who have since died have been placed at the desks at which they sat while starring in the film.
“Özkul got me out of the heater by pulling my ears. But they put my head only,” Akçatepe said.
Five “Hababam Sınıfı” movies, adapted from writer and poet Rıfat Ilgaz’s novel of the same name, were shot by Ertem Eğilmez from 1974 to 1981, while a sixth one was directed by Kartal Tibet. The movie features comic scenes of student adventures between themselves, their teachers, other students and the principal who declared a disciplinary war on them.