"From Market to Industry and from Melodrama to Mythology" the Uncompleted Story of Cinema: Critique of the Turkish Cinema Between 1950 and 1980

Yildiz T.

MILLI FOLKLOR, no.96, pp.148-156, 2012 (AHCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2012
  • Journal Name: MILLI FOLKLOR
  • Journal Indexes: Arts and Humanities Citation Index (AHCI), Scopus, TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.148-156
  • Gazi University Affiliated: No


The need to be sustained by oral culture has been widely seen in the Turkish cinema since its early periods. However, this need has more often than not remained in theoretical level and could not deepen. Therefore, the profound impact of the folk stories could not have been reflected effectively to the movies made. For this reason, the majority of the movies made in that period, which were inspired by the folk tales, were considered as simple movies made for the market and thus criticized for being shot for commercial concerns. The theoretical discussions mentioned above were mainly concentrated around the movements called public cinema, national cinema or domestic cinema. Failure of these discussions to come out of the theoretical phase and proceed to the application phase has prevented the creation of an industrial sector. Also failure of the theoretical and artistic perception in the field of cinema to internalize the oral culture has stunted the culture industry as well and made it dependent upon the international market. While the film industry became a sector in international markets by deriving inspirations from the oral culture, it also became dominant within this county and turned into an important obstacle for the domestic cinema industry. The movies made in the period from 1950 to 1980, which is the period taken as sample range in this article, and inspired by the folk stories were also included in this process. Due to the reasons expressed above, although the Turkish cinema started in that period, it has failed to make a progress sustained by the oral culture, and therefore, the Turkish cinema is relatively behind the world cinema sector today. In this article, the genres of the elements of the oral culture used in the Turkish cinema between 1950 and 1980 will be displayed and the process developed when these genres are abandoned will be evaluated. Furthermore, the question of why the Turkish cinema has been unable to transform the local and national culture codes as well as the folk stories in a fantastic manner will be examined with a critical approach within the frame of cinema movements, directors and Yesilcam.