Filming in Turkey

Filming in Turkey


Filming in Turkey – With its landscape and architectural diversity, Turkey has always been an inspiration for artists and film makers. It is no surprise that when cinema emerged in Turkey, Istanbul played a significant role not only as the country’s movie industry center but also a location for various local and foreign films. Apart from great interest of the Yeşilçam-era filmmakers (the most successful period of Turkish cinema, from the 1950s to the 1980s), numerous foreign productions have been shot in the city. Most have focused on landmark locations such as the Grand Bazaar and the Bosphorus, well-known icons. Istanbul has featured in three separate James Bond films – From Russia with Love (1963), The World is Not Enough (1999), and Skyfall (2012). Not as well known, but worth the attention, is the representation of Istanbul in the French film La Fille Sur le Pont (The Girl on the Bridge) by Patrice Leconte (1999). Leconte’s film is a charming black-and-white love story, shot not only in Paris, Athens, and San Remo, but also in the Old City of Istanbul.

Filming in Turkey : La fille sur le pont – The city is the backdrop to a suffering and heartbroken protagonist. Gabor gets rid of his knives, and spends his time walking around dark Istanbul streets, taking a job advertising the sleazy Çingene disco by standing on the street in a grotesque costume. Here the attentive eye of an Istanbul fan can spot one of the entrances of the Grand Bazaar, or admire the landscape of Eminönü just after Gabor’s arrival in the city. The shot of Eminönü is followed by a comic scene of a characteristic mustachioed officer stamping Gabor’s passport. Careful viewers may also note signs for “Mis Hamamı” and “Arzum Büfe.” Here Leconte does not differ much from other foreign directors, by setting the action in the most popular districts. He emphasizes what seems to a European audience Istanbul’s exotic character by using Turkish folk music – the song “Hicaz oyun havasi,” performed by the Istanbul Oriental Ensemble.


Filming in Turkey : From Russia with love  Editorial use only. Mandatory Credit: Photo by Danjaq/Eon/Ua/Kobal/REX/ Shutterstock (5886245dg) Sean Connery From Russia With Love – 1963 Director: Terence Young Danjaq/EON/UA BRITAIN Scene Still James Bond Action/Adventure Bons baisers de Russie © Danjaq/Eon/Ua/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock

Filming in Turkey : Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011) This big-screen adaptation of John le Carré’s 1974 novel turned Istanbul’s Karaköy neighbourhood into a stage where Soviet and British spies battle it out during the Cold War of the 1970s. The film’s representation of period Istanbul is uncanny and stretches from Istiklal Street to Taksim’s smoky nightclubs and dark hotel rooms. As George Smiley, played by Gary Oldman, struggles to find the secret Soviet informant within MI5, events descend into violence

Why you should consider to film in Turkey?

Stunning Locations

Turkey has an incredibly diverse range of locations that can double for almost anywhere in the world She is often called “the cradle of civilization,” as it has been home to a rich variety of tribes and nations of people since 6500 B.C. Hattis, Hittites, Phrygians, Urartians, Lycians, Lydians, Ionians, Persians, Macedonians, Romans, Byzantines, Seljuks and Ottomans have all held important places in Turkey’s history. Ancient sites and ruins throughout the country attest to each civilization’s unique character.

Turkey is a big country with different climates and it has everything that a film director/producer may want: natural wonders like Cappadocia, Pamukkale, beautiful beaches, rocky shores, waterfalls, lakes, rivers, mountains, dry lands, modern architecture, unique cities, towns, villages and streets. For example The Cappadocia region, where a lot of Hollywood and European films were shot in the past, is like an open-air film studio.

Turkey can be the setting for various settings in different countries.

  • A film whose story takes place in the Arabian Peninsula, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Israel, Palestine and Jordan can be shot in some cities in the South East of Turkey.
  • The Arabic architecture is dominant in Antakya, Mardin, Urfa, Adıyaman and Diyarbakır.
  • The Aegean region full of olive trees and vineyards can be the setting for Greece, Italy and Spain.
  • The Taurus mountains in the south of Turkey can be the setting for Switzerland, France and French Alps.
  • The nature and environment in the Black Sea Region is very similar to the nature and environment in England, Ireland, Scotland and the North European Countries.
Filming in Turkey –  ‘L’Immortelle’ (1963) As expected of the French New Wave, L’Immortelle is a confusing yet sumptuous representation of Istanbul. The film, which does not run in chronological order, features a conspiracy ring that kidnaps women and uses them as prostitutes, a car crash, a man and a mysterious woman, and a lot of parties at gorgeous Ottoman-era waterfront mansions where beautiful people stare at each other, French New Wave-style.


Cash Rebate

Turkey offers cash rebates of up to 30% for feature films, documentaries, and TV series. (How to apply for incentives?)

Tax Advantage

Foreign film producers can receive a VAT refund (up to 18%) for all expenses relating to the procurement and import of goods and services during film shooting.

A highly developed tourism infrastructure

As of 2019 with almost 40 million foreign visitor arrivals Turkey ranks 7 place in the world and generating $36.5 billion in revenue. Given its strong infrastructure ready to accommodate more visitors, the country aims to increase revenues by expanding in tourism areas, without limiting summer tourism. Contact-us for any hotel and travel arrangements in Turkey.

Filming in Turkey – Journey Into Fear In this classic, American ballistic expert Howard Graham (Joseph Cotten) is targeted by Nazi agents in Istanbul and must find safe passage home. In one of the film’s strangest scenes, Graham is dragged into a smoke-filled nightclub where he meets a dancer and a magician, one of whom is later murdered by a Nazi spy (we won’t say who). The film also stars a young Orson Welles as a Turkish secret police chief.

Easy Access

Located at the crossroads of the continents, Turkey maintains an extensive transportation network that is both efficient and cost-effective. Airport across Turkey welcome 12.000 international flights per week. Turkish Airlines, one of the world’s leading flagship carriers, frequent numerous major cities in Europe and the world. Should visiting producers wish to transport film equipment via sea, many ports across the country are open to international freight ships. As for railways and roads, TCDD (Turkish Republic State Railways) operates a system that extends 10.985 km in length, including a high-speed line that connects Istanbul to Ankara. The total length of the network of highways and motorways exceeds 10.000 km across the country.

Filming in Turkey : Inferno – This film adaptation of the adventures of Robert Langdon, Harvard University professor of symbology, was partly filmed in İstanbul in the Hagia Sophia Museum, Grand Bazaar, Beyazıt Square, İstanbul University’s maingate, Beyazıt Çadırcılar Street, Kennedy Street and Eminönü.

A Budget-Friendly Country

The film business is about managing resources and coping with challenges as musc as it is about firing the mind to mold fantasies into reality. Professionals value a location not only for its spectacular offerings but also for the ease it lends to the course of work. Home to a vibrant film industry with well-established traditions of coproduction, Turkey offer producers an ideal opportunity to diminish the costs of filmmaking. Providing unbelievably low costs for film logistics, genuinely competitive prices for equipment rental and professional labor, and last but not least, incredibly favorable exchange rates for the world currencies, Turkey is a goldmine of advantages that offers great peace of mind to film professionals in each and every phase of film production.

Filming in Turkey – Argo : The film chronicles the covert operation launched to rescue 52 American hostages captured by Iranians on November 4, 1979, at the turning point of the Iranian Revolution that overthrew the Shah. Parts of the film, including the Tehran sequences, were shot in a film set built in İstanbul.

A land for all seasons

Turkey is a unique country where you can shoot the winter and the summer scenes at the same time throughout the year.

Material supplies and equipment

The necessary technological equipment is available in Turkey and there are a lot of companies renting cameras, light and film set equipment, cranes, Jimmy Jib and Steadycam of the latest technology. Antalya Studios is one of the most modern studio complexes in Europe as it is soundproof and practical to use and it has luxurious star suites, workshops and sections for costume, make up and hair.

Filming in Turkey : The 23rd film in the James Bond series, “Skyfall” was partly filmed in İstanbul, Adana and Muğla.

Other Movies Shot in Turkey

  • American Assassin(2017) : The action-thriller’s Turkey sequences were shot in the Kennedy Street, Galata Bridge, Eminönü, Beyoğlu and Fatih in İstanbul.
  • Charlie’s Angels (2019) : Suspecting that a company run by the inventor Elena is using one of their inventions for nefarious purposes, a group of international agents embarks on a journey full of adventure, breathtaking action and comedy that takes them from Berlin to Istanbul and Aspen. The latest iteration of the “Charlie’s Angels” was partly filmed in Istanbul, Turkey, with scenes shot in Eminönü, Çakmakçılar Yokuşu, the Spice Bazaar, the Hagia Sophia Museum and the historic Veliefendi Race Course.
  • The Ottoman Lieutenant (2017) : Set during WWI, the film tells the love story of a young and idealist American nurse and a handsome Ottoman officer. Turkish sequences of the film were shot at the entrance of the Topkapı Palace, in the Blue Mosque, Rüstem Pasha Mosque, Beyazıt Square and surroundings in İstanbul; Cappadocia; Soğanlı archeological site and Soğanlı Town Museum in Kayseri; Ürgüp, Göreme, Valley of Love and Uçhisar in Nevşehir; the village of Kızılkaya in Aksaray; and Van.
  • Gallipoli-Troy (2015) : This seven-episode series on the Battle of Gallipoli was partly filmed in Çanakkale.
  • The Two Faces of January (2014) : The film, telling the story of an American couple on a trip to Athens, was partly shot in İstanbul.
  • The Water Diviner (2014) : After the Battle of Gallipoli, an Australian father, Connor, travels to Turkey to find his three missing sons. Parts of the film  were shot in the Blue Mosque, Fatih, Balat and Topkapı Palace in İstanbul; Fethiye, Kayaköy and the ancient city of Tlos in Muğla; Kalkan and Lycia in Antalya; and Eceabat and the Anzac Cove in Çanakkale.
  • Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (2011) : Starring Nicolas Cage, the film is a sequel in the Ghost Rider series, and was partly filmed in Cappadocia and Pamukkale.
  • The International (2009) : Interpol agent Lois Sallinger investigates a global bank to uncover their illegal activities. Parts of the film were shot in Süleymaniye Mosque and the Basilica Cistern in İstanbul.
  • The Rebound (2009) : Telling the story of Aram and his romantic relationship with his neighbor, the film included scenes shot in İstanbul.
  • Hitman (2007) : Hitman revolves around “Agent 47”, a professional hitman engineered to be an assassin and known only by the last two digits of the barcode on the back of his head. Parts of the film were shot in İstanbul.
  • Empire of the Wolves (2005) : Nerteaux investigates the brutal murders of three Turkish women, illegal immigrants living in the Turkish neighborhood of Paris. Parts of the film were shot in in İstanbul and Cappadocia.
  • A Touch of Spice (2003) : “A Touch of Spice” is a story about a young Greek boy (Fanis) growing up in Istanbul, whose grandfather, a culinary philosopher and mentor,teaches him that both food and life require a little salt to give them flavor; they both require.
  • The Accidental Spy Dak mo mai sing (2001) : Buck follows two suspicious-looking people one day, and ends up in İstanbul via South Korea and İstanbul. The film’s  Turkish sequences were shot in İstanbul.


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