Turkish James Bond to take on coup plotters in new film
ISTANBUL - Agence France-PresseA wildly popular Turkish television and film thriller franchise starring an action hero dubbed the “Turkish James Bond” will make a movie about the July 15 failed coup attempt, its producer announced.
The “Kurtlar Vadisi” (Valley of the Wolves) franchise has resulted in dozens of television episodes and several spin-off films since it was first created in 2003, enthralling many Turks.
But it has long been accused by critics of having a strong ideological bent alongside a potent streak of Turkish nationalism and anti- American and Israeli sentiment.
“In response to intense public demand to make a film or television series about the coup bid, our firm has taken the decision to make the film ‘Valley of the Wolves - Coup,’” production company Pana Film said on Twitter late on Aug. 15.
It did not give further details but the film will most likely see the return of Turkish secret service action hero Polat Alemdar -- played by Necati Şaşmaz -- to do battle with the coup plotters.
The Turkish authorities blame the coup on the U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen and have slammed Washington for failing to hand him over to face trial at home.
According to the pro-government Akşam newspaper, the question of Turkey-U.S. relations will play a prime role in the script.
Always ending up on top against the odds, like British spy hero James Bond, Polat Alemdar takes on a panoply of Turkey’s enemies, be it the mafia, militants or even the West.
The franchise did not shy away from controversy with its first film “Valley of the Wolves – Iraq,” which centered on the U.S.-invasion of Iraq and the story of the capture of 11 Turkish soldiers by a U.S. military unit.
It then ventured into even stormier waters with a film on the deadly 2010 raid by Israeli commandos on the Mavi Marmara Turkish aid ship bound for Gaza.
The movie further ratcheted up diplomatic tensions between Turkey and Israel, prompting accusations of anti-Semitism that were vehemently denied by the producers.
“Valley of the Wolves” has always been seen as in tune with the ambitious foreign policy and projection of a powerful Turkey espoused by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who became prime minister in the year the series first came out.
However it has not been spared from controversy within the country, with the producers pulling the plug on a 2007 series “Valley of the Wolves -- Terror” which dealt with the fight against outlawed Kurdish militants after just one episode.
Meanwhile, in a twist worthy of the franchise itself, Turkish media daily said the producers had taken possession of a website domain “Valley of the Wolves - Coup” (kurtlarvadisidarbe.com) on May 18, two months before the coup even took place.
“Did ‘Valley of the Wolves’ know about the coup in advance?” became a viral question on social media, quoted by several media. vThe Turkish government has over the last month vehemently denied unsubstantiated claims they had any prior intelligence of the coup.