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Turkish theatre and cinema is an important part of Turkish culture. Learn more about traditional Turkish theatre and modern Turkish cinema.


Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Fatih Akin, Ferzan Ozpetek, Abdullah Oguz and Semih Kaplanoglu are succesful directors of Turkish cinema in todays.

Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s film, Distant won Grand Prix at Cannes Film Festival in 2003. The Edge Of Heaven which directed by Fatih Akin, won the Award for Best Screenplay at Cannes 2007.

The record holder of Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival, Egg was awarded with Best 2nd Film in Estoril European Film Festival which took place in Portugal and honored with Eurimages Award by the jury of Sevilla Film Festival in Spain. Semih Kaplanoglu was honored as the Best Director with Egg that was in the World Cinema section in Bangkok International Film Festival.


Turkish cinema began to be talked about on international platforms in the 1980s. As this process continued, films dealing with social and psychological matters and women’s rights came to the fore. The 1990s saw fewer films, but of a more advanced quality. Among the reasons for this progress were the arrival of cinema studies in universities, the training of knowledgeable directors and actors and state support for the cinema. Yet another reason was international success.


Turkish theatre is thought to have originated from the popular Karagoz shadow plays, a cross between moralistic Punch and Judy and the slapstick Laurel and Hardy. It then developed along an oral tradition, with plays performed in public places, such as coffee houses and gardens, exclusively by male actors.

Turkish Government gave great importance to the arts, and actively encouraged theatre, music and ballet, prompting the foundation of many state institutions. Turkey today boasts a thriving arts scene, with highly professional theatre, opera and ballet companies, as well as a flourishing film industry.