Films, series should not damage places

Films, series should not damage places

ANKARA - Anatolia News Agency
Films, series should not damage places

Ertuğrul Günay says films and TV series should not damage historical places. AA Photo

Turkey’s culture and tourism minister said films and television series often contributed to the promotion of historical places, but filming should not cause damage.

“This is why we try to evaluate each application [for filming] distinctively. Last year Nicholas Cage made a film in Cappadocia and we gave permission when he later asked to use the Hierapolis in Aegean Pamukkale. We paid attention to the production in other similar places,” Ertuğrul Günay told Anatolia news agency in an interview.

Recently, permission for brief filming in the Holy Relics section of Topkapı Palace was granted by subunits of the ministry, Günay said, adding that this site was very special and permission should not be repeated. The relics there are very important for the entire Islamic world and it was not right to use this place as a background, he said. “This is why we have decided that from now on the ministry will give permission to such things, not subunits,” he said.

Besides James Bond, there were no new applications from foreign filmmakers to make films in Turkey, Günay said. “Interest in Turkey is increasing. Our cinema is drawing interest in the world and at home.” Last year in Turkey audience figures for Turkish films was nearly the same as foreign films, he said.
The number of Turkish films has increased, and they receive international awards at prestigious film festivals in the world, he said. “We also have hopes for the Oscars.

Turkey’s historical and natural beauties would be better promoted in the world thanks to its cinema sector, Günay said. “I always say that a film about Süleyman would make a great contribution to Turkey.”

On historical television series and films, Günay said the popular series “Muhteşem Yüzyıl” (Magnificent Century), featuring the life of Ottoman Süleyman the Magnificent, received lots of criticism that it did not reflect real facts. “It can be done better. People should compete against each other to do better, but what was done should not be slandered,” he said.

Günay said they were reviewing venues in Yassıada in preparation for the establishment of a democracy museum and would decide which one was suitable. A special budget was needed to complete the museum project there, he said, adding that he hoped work would start by spring or summer. “Yassıada is a very special place for Turkey’s social memory. It should be rescued from neglect,” he said.