Russell Crowe’s film to put Kayaköy on the map

Russell Crowe’s film to put Kayaköy on the map

MUĞLA - Anadolu Agency
Russell Crowe’s film to put Kayaköy on the map

The film crew arrived in the Kayaköy village and started working to create the film platform. Officials hope that it will be a good opportunity to promote the village to the world. DHA Photo

Officials in the western province of Fethiye’s Kayaköy district hope the filming of some scenes of Australian actor Russell Crowe’s latest film “The Water Diviner” at the district’s ancient site will contribute to raising the profile of the area.

The shooting of the Istanbul portion of the film started on Feb. 26. The film, which is set between 1914 and 1919, focuses on a father from New Zealand-born Crowe’s adopted homeland of Australia who travels to Turkey in 1919. There, he hopes to discover what has happened to his two sons, both of whom have gone missing following the battle for Gallipoli. The film scenes will show Istanbul under occupation.

Turkish actors Cem Yılmaz and Yılmaz Erdoğan are also starring in the film, which was show in the city’s Sultanahmet, Balat and Çemberlitaş neighborhoods and in the Topkapı Palace. The film crew arrived on March 9 in the Kayaköy village and started working to create the film platform. They decorated some walls and telephone poles in the area with artificial plants. The producers are creating stalls out of wood for a market scene that will be shot for the film.

The Turkish Travel Agencies Union (TÜRSAB) Western Mediterranean Regional President Salih Taşçı said Fethiye had been rising in popularity. He recalled that some scenes of the latest film in the James Bond series “Skyfall” were also shot in Fethiye in 2012 and provided great exposure for the region, especially among British tourists.

Taşçı said that they were excited to wait for famous actor Crowe to come to Kayaköy in the coming days. “The number of Kayaköy visitors, which was nearly 60,000 in 2013, will increase two-fold, I am sure,” he said. “It is already a quite popular place; I think it is a chance for Turkey and the Fethiye region that the film is being made here. Fethiye is not only known for its sea, sand and sun but also for Kayaköy, the place of historic cities of Lycia civilization.”

Taşçı said that thanks to the film, officials would start moving to save Kayaköy’s old houses, which were on the verge of crumbling and waiting for restoration. In this way, Fethiye will take a greater share of culture tourism, he added.

A natural film setting

Taşçı said that lots of Turkish artists had starred in films shot in Kayaköy many years ago, adding that it was a natural film setting.

“Now we appeal to the British market. The fact that such a Hollywood film will be made in Kayaköy will create a serious interest in our region. It is a big gain for our region that renowned Turkish artists Erdoğan and Yılmaz will be in the shootings,” he said.

The hillside village of Kayaköy, which is located in the western province of Muğla, is located eight kilometers south of Fethiye, and was lived in by Anatolian Greeks until 1923, when the populations of Greece and Turkey were exchanged. The town now consists of hundreds of rundown, but still mostly intact, houses and churches.

Known as Karmylassos in the ancient era, Kayaköy was launched as a protected archaeological site in 1988.