‘Cowboys of Istanbul’ meet every week in cafe
The Turkish Western Society, established three years ago, has been organizing “Western movie nights” every Friday with members who call themselves “the Cowboys of Istanbul” and dress like cowboys, gathering in a cafe in the Samatya neighborhood.
The founder of the society is Hasan Karcı, a 69-year-old director of 40 movies.
“The society has some 1,400 members. But due to the space in the cafe, we get together with around 35-30 members every Friday,” Karcı, who also acted in 16 movies and wrote the scripts of the 33 of them, said.
The two-story cafe belongs to Cengiz Güçlü, an actor in love with Western movies.
“I listen to Western music, dress with Western style. It is my passion. We are the cowboys of Samatya and Istanbul,” Güçlü said.
The first floor of the cafe is a shop where cowboy suits and hats, toy and prop guns are on sale.
When asked why the members dress like cowboys at the “Western movie nights,” Karcı replied, “We want to feel the mood of being a cowboy.”
After the movie, the members make a round table meeting, talking about Western culture and the movies.
“There are a lot of Turkish Western movie lovers. We feel that mood when we watch those movies together. You know, the towns, saloons, deserts and guns,” Karcı noted.
“I am a nature enthusiast, but I love the deserts,” he added.
Karcı and Güçlü not only established the society to get together with the members weekly, but have also “gifted two movies to the Western film world.”
Karcı directed two Western movies in which Güçlü has acted.
Zeliha Demirel, who is an artist, is one of the female members of the society.
“I’ve been a fan of cowboy movies since childhood,” Demirel said, adding, “I can dress like cowboys in my daily life for sure. I love this lifestyle so much.”
“My house is like an arsenal,” Karcı said, describing his love for cowboy pistols. “I have bought every kind of cowboy guns from anywhere in the globe that I visited. You can see in my house, it is like an ammunition store,” he said.
“But don’t worry. They are all blank cartridge pistols,” he joked.