Turkish culture minister, Omer Celik, just hosted Hollywood film star and director Russell Crowe at Topkapi Palace, Istanbul during Crowe's efforts to gather Turkey's support for his new movie about the battle of Dardanelles in the first world war.
Russell Crowe's new film will be set in Turkey and will stage the battle of Dardanelles, which saw some of the bloodiest scenes of the first world war. The film is about two young Australian ANZAC soldiers, who went missing during the battle of Dardanelles in Turkey. The film tells the story of a father, who visits Turkey in 1916 to trace his missing sons.
During his meeting with Omer Celik, Crowe expressed his admiration for Turkey and Turkish hospitality. He added that he has visited Turkey on many occasions during various film shootings and that he found Turkish culture to be exceptionally accommodating. He continued to say that he intends to use Turkish actors in his new movie. Turkish culture minister, Mr. Celik, said Turkey would support the movie as much as possible and that Turkey valued the historic ties between Turkey and Australia.
Mr. Celik further noted that every year Turkey holds a memorial for ANZACs, who lost their lives during the first world war in Turkey. Mr. Crowe added that he has so far visited Istanbul, Edirne, Cappadocia and Tlos, Kayakoy in Fethiye looking for the most suitable setting for the movie. He also added that he was impressed by Turkish culture and Turkey's beauty. When asked about Turkish actors, Mr. Crowe named several including Cem Yilmaz, Kivanc Tatlitug, Yilmaz Erdogan and Nurgul Yesilcay. He also pointed out that he was aware of the support Turkish government gave to the film industry and how it encouraged artists and actors. Mr. Crowe further explained that some of the shootings will be in Istanbul and some on the south coast of Turkey, however, that they had not yet decided exactly where on the south coast.
The impact of blockbusters on Turkish property market
Over the last 10 years, Turkey has been actively encouraging film makers, mainly Hollywood producers, to shoot major films in Turkey. This is part of an active campaign by Turkish culture and tourism ministries to boost Turkey's profile. And it is without shadow of a doubt helping.
In 2012, the last James Bond movie, SkyFall was shot in Istanbul and Fethiye. The opening scene of the movie, where Bond's partner accidentally shoots Bond instead of the baddie during a train chase, was shot in Istanbul. Then the next 10 minutes that followed were shot in Adana and Fethiye on the Mediterranean coast of Turkey. The movie went to cinema in November 2012. During the first 2 months of the opening of the movie, bookings to Turkey, particularly for the south coast of the country, peaked by some 33% compared to the very same period the year before.
Similarly, although without such a large impact, Taken 2 was shot almost entirely in Istanbul. Istanbul hotel reservations show a slight (and unexpected) increase to coincide with the release of the film, where Liam Neeson played a hard-nosed ex-CIA operator, whose family was haunted by some dark characters, who follow them to Istanbul for revenge.
On the other hand, The Arab World has a fascination with Turkish soap operas, which are being increasingly exported to Middle Eastern and ex-Russian countries. "So much is the fascination that some of our clients from the Middle East insist that we view properties near Kivanc Tatlitug's home in Istanbul (Kivanc Tatlitug being one of the leading actors in Ask-i Memnu, a Turkish drama with a major secret love twist)" says John Forsaye of Property Turkey.
"We also noted that our sales of seaside properties in Fethiye notably increased after the screening of SkyFall, which showed some amazing scenery in Fethiye area of Turkey" added Mr. Forsaye. Mr. Forsaye further explained that Turkey's profile as a place to visit, an overseas holiday home and investment destination, has been uplifted quite considerably since 2005. More and more people are switching from traditional overseas home buying destinations such as Spain and France to Turkey as they discover the beauty of this colossal country and genuine unspoilt hospitality of Turkish people. Turkey is now a major player and force to be reckoned with in the overseas property buying market, and most deservedly too.
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