10 best movie sets in Istanbul

In this inspiring city, Istanbul, lots of films shot and met with the movie audience.

Here are the 10 of the best films set in Istanbul...


From Russia with Love, Terence Young, 1963

From Russia with Love is the second James Bond film made and the second to star Sean Connery as  James Bond. The film takes place mostly in Istanbul which was very different and uncrowded back then and also has scenes on the famous Orient Express too.  It can be very interesting to experience the change of Istanbul in a nice James Bond movie. 


Tarzan in Istanbul/Dracula in Istanbul/Kilink in Istanbul, various directors, 1952-67

Tarzan in Istanbul written and directed by Orhan Atadeniz is the story of Necla and Adnan meeting Tarzan while they were searching for a treasure. After finding the treasure they bring Tarzan to Istanbul. 


Topkapi, Jules Dassin, 1964

Topkapi (1964) is made by Filmways Pictures and distributed by United Artists. It was produced and directed by the American film director Jules Dassin. The film is based on Eric Ambler's novel The Light of Day (1962), adapted as a screenplay by Monja Danischewsky. Tells the story of the theft of a dagger from an Istanbul Museum. 


Midnight Express, Alan Parker, 1978

Midnight Express, 1978 is an American/British film directed by Alan Parker that is about a college student smuggling drugs to Turkey and getting caught It is an adaptation of Billy Hayes' 1977 book Midnight Express. 


Uzak (Distant), Nuri Bilge Ceylan, 2002

This is another fine movie from Nuri Bilge Ceylan who has won the Golden Palm Award in 2014's Cannes Film Festival. It is considered as one of the finest Turkish films of all time. The film which shows us the city and the country in a winter setting is about a photographer's existential crisis during his cousin's visit. 


Politiki Kouzina (A Touch of Spice), Tassos Boulmetis, 2003

A Touch of Spice (or Politiki kouzina) is a 2003 Greek film directed by Tassos Boulmetis that tells the story of a Greek cook who spices up the lives of people he cooks for and realizes his life doesn't have any spice during his trip to his birth city: Istanbul.  


Hamam, Ferzan Ozpetek, 1997

The film that has become very famous all around the world and attended lots of festivals is the first film of Turkish director, Ferzan Özpetek. It was sold in over 21 countries and was on the theaters of most of the European countries. The story was around an Italian man who comes to Istanbul to sell the Hamam (Turkish Bath) he inherited.  


Crossing the Bridge: The Sound of Istanbul, Fatih Akin, 2005

Fatih Akin challenges the notion of East and West through Istanbul's mixed culture and music, through the city lies between Asia and Europe, East and West. 


Somersault in a Coffin, Dervis Zaim, 1996

Somersault in a Coffin (Turkish: Tabutta Rövaşata) is a 1996 Turkish comedy-drama film, written and directed by Derviş Zaim that has attended several international film festivals and have won the Golden Orange as the best film at the Antalya International Film Festival.


My Only Sunshine (Hayat Var), Reha Erdem, 2008

My Only Sunshine, written and directed by Reha Erdem is about the story of the problems Hayat, a teenage girl is facing.  Hayat is trying to make the best out of her tough and cruel life. 

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