According to Anadolu Agency, Turkish cinema has increased its fans and also its box office numbers during the first half of the year. During the first six months of last year, 54 percent of cinemagoers preferred to view Turkish films, while in the first half of 2013 this number increased to 64 percent. Turkish cinema income has increased 38 percent to 153.3 million Turkish Liras.
According to Culture and Tourism Ministry Cinema General Directorate officials, the number of films hitting the screens in Turkey increased by 10 percent to reach 26.1 million.
Turkish film audiences have increased by 32 percent to become 16.8 million. During the first half of the year many Turkish productions attracted more viewers than foreign productions. A total of 156 films hit the screens and 40 of them were Turkish productions. In the first six months of 2012, the Turkish production movie-watching rate was only 54, but in 2013 this increased to 64 percent.
Every year, many filmmakers visit Turkey for documentaries and film productions. In the recent years, Turkey hosted some of the most popular Hollywood Productions.
Recent blockbuster films to have shot in Turkey include The Two Faces of January (2014), Tinker Tailor Solider Spy (2011), Argo (2012) and Skyfall (2012). Recent changes in the country’s incentive structure (more below) mean this run of success is expected to continue. Turkey has a vibrant domestic TV business but has not as yet seen many foreign TV productions come to the country. US TV shows to have visited Turkey include The Bachelorette (ABC TV) and The Martha Stewart Show.
A blog in The Guardian described how Turkey was well-suited as an alternative location to Iran in Ben Affleck’s Argo: ‘Buildings are similar to those in Iran, the houses are not that different, the bazaar is quite like the actual shopping centre in south Tehran. Banners, placards and signs are in Persian and many characters actually speak the language, although some with accents.’
The BBC has also been to Turkey to shoot films with specific historical requirements (ie subjects such as the Byzantine Empire and Seven Wonders of the World). There’s a regular turnover of ads from markets like Russia, India, the US, UK, France and Germany. Brands to have been in Turkey recently include Nokia, Opel, Footlocker, Max Factor, LG, Megafon, Lukoil and Stary Melnik (the latter is a Russian beer brand owned by Turkish brewer Efes).
Films/TV programs shot in Turkey by foreign companies totalled 181 in 2006, 157 in 2007, 205 in 2008, 197 in 2009, 277 in 2010, 293 in 2011.(kftv)