With over six thousand films, Turkey has produced more films than any other country in the Middle East or the Balkans. Despite its prolific and popular nature, this national film industry has often been denigrated as imitative, simplistic, and underdeveloped. Taking up precisely these critiques, Cinema in Turkey provides a critical history of feature cinema in Turkey, considering how this cinema developed modes of communication reflective of both existing traditions and region-specific responses to modernization and nation-building.
Focusing on both popular films and art cinema, this study deals with the history of cinema in Turkey, including not only its high point during the golden age of YesilAam (as Turkey's popular film industry of the 1960s and 1970s is known), but also its early years and its current revival, the New Cinema of Turkey. This book not only provides the first comprehensive history of Turkish cinema in English, but also attempts to introduce a contemporary film-theoretical perspective to the examination of Turkish cinema, viewing it in a broader framework that goes beyond the canonical concerns of existing film histories and their art and auteur cinema related perspectives.
Arslan is an assistant professor at Istanbul's BahceIehir University and his talent for analysis of how cinema reflects society makes this more than just a book for film aficionados: it is a book for all who seek to understand the changes in real Turkish society during the 20th century. * Today's Zaman *
Savas Arslan's book is certainly one of the most significant contributions to English-language literature on the cinema of Turkey. It is a welcome addition to the growing number of publications on the topic, yet what makes it most unique is its ambition to address the history of this national cinema in its entirety. * Eylem Atakav, Screen *
Refreshing, thought-provoking and informative. * Charlotte McPherson, Today's Zaman *
I believe that Cinema in Turkey is a groundbreaking work, the first of its kind in English that looks in detail at the conditions of production and exhibition that shaped Yesilcam's product over nearly five decades. It deserves to become a seminal text in Turkish film history. * Laurence Raw, Insight Turkey *
Full of fresh ideas, Arslan's book productively reconciles popular and art house cinema within this study of Turkey's national film tradition. It brings insights into matters of genre, alternative cultural geographies, cross-cultural adaptation, and transnational film historiography. And it successfully tackles the relationship between Western narratives and their appropriation within modernising peripheries. * Dina Iordanova, University of St. Andrews *
PREFACE; 1. Introduction; 2. Pre-Yesilcam: Cinema in Turkey Until The Late 1940s; 3. Early Yesilcam: The Advent of Ye?ilcam in the 1950s; 4, High Yesilcam I: Industry and Dubbing; 5. High Yesilcam II: Genres and Films; 6. Late Yesilcam: Melting in the 1980s; 7. Postmortem for Yesilcam: Post-Ye?ilcam, or the New Cinema of Turkey; LIST OF REFERENCES