By Elif Türkölmez
TÜRVAK, the foundation established in 1997 by film director and producer Türker İnanoğlu is like a temple dedicated to Turkish cinematography… Visiting cinematography museums is like watching your favourite scenes from your favourite movies. When leaving the museum, you feel a sense of happiness. Posters, records, décors used on the sets, costumes, photographs are as many reminders of the fact that ‘a film is never just a movie’; revealing the labour that has been put behind its production. Turkey continues to open up museums worthy of the well-established Turkish film industry. The most important of these, no doubt, is TÜRVAK, welcoming movie fans at its centre in the heart of Yeşilçam. TÜRVAK (Türker İnanoğlu Foundation) was initially established in 1997on a location in Kavacık, by director and producer Türker İnanoğlu, a prominent personality of the Turkish film industry who significantly contributed to the sector since 1957. TÜRVAK which moved to its new venue in Beyoğlu in January 2011 continues to play a leading role in the promotion of cinematographic culture in Turkey.
Great support to the archive
İnanoğlu who directed and/or produced 280 feature films so far, is offering his private archives to the enthusiasts of film and television history at the TÜRVAK Cinema-Theatre Museum and Art Library. The archives of the ERLER Film Studios, gathered throughout the years of his professional career by Türker İnanoğlu, formed the nucleus of the museum collections. In addition, by advertisements in newspapers, film producers, cinematographers, private collectors, former filmmakers, film-maker families and thespians were called on to report every relevant material they might have in their possession, which the foundation could acquire and include in the collection of the TÜRVAK Museum. It was announced that every available 8, 16 and 35-mm old cameras and movie projection devices, lighting projectors, dollies, trolley cars, studio and laboratory equipment, existing copies of all Turkish movies made to date, scenarios, scripts, banners, pictures, flyers, lobby materials, brochures, advertising materials, books and magazines related to the Turkish film industry since the days of its inception would be purchased and catalogued at the museum. During the establishment phase of the museum, Türker İnanoğlu received significant support from the former General Director of the Turkish Radio and Television Institution (TRT), Yücel Yener, his filmmaker friend, Necip Sarıca, the actress, Handan Uran Ertuğrul, wife of late Turkish theatre veteran Muhsin Ertuğrul, Selçuk Uraz, wife of famous theatre personality actor Ulvi Uraz, his thespian friend Deniz Uyguner and SINE-SEN, the Cinema Workers’ Union. And thus was created that museum which is best-placed to enlighten future generations on the history of the Turkish film industry.
An extensive library
TÜRVAK Museum does not consist of only a museum of cinematography, there is also a theatre museum in the building. Here too, the costumes and decorations from the archives of the famous dramatists, photographs and video recordings are on display.Another section worth visiting at the institution is the Ulvi Uraz library. With its 60 thousand books rich collection and its comfortable reading room, the library provides a comprehensive cinema, theatre and general cultural archive for students, researchers, authors, academics and writers conducting research in the relevant areas. Tens of thousands of books and magazines
on art and general culture, numerous movie soundtrack records of Turkish films, the original film scripts, film agreements, contracts, brochures, flyers, lobbies, thousands of pictures and original movie posters are available at this library, thus offering a priceless resource, in particular, for students of cinema and television arts.
Cinema class by Hülya Koçyiğit
The centre has an 82-seat movie theater where special screenings and festivals are organized. It is a real delight to watch a classic Turkish film in a place like this which is a temple of cinematography. Another important feature of the centre are the training courses provided in areas such as film and television acting, directing, anchoring, lighting and camera. The courses are offered by seasoned professionals in their field like Hülya Koçyiğit, Zeki Alasya, Ali Kırca, Mahinur Ergun, Cüneyt Özdemir, etc. TÜRVAK, a valuable archive of Turkey’s film and television history, serves also as a meeting point for future film and television professionals. The Foundation also published a book called ‘Turkish Cinema through 5555 posters’. If you intend to visit the museum, make a note of its address at Firuzağa District Boğazkesen Street No: 94 Beyoğlu. A 20 percent discount on the entrance fee is applied for Müzekart+ holders.
This article has originally appeared in “Müze” Magazine, published quarterly with the contributions of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. We would like to thank TÜRSAB Museum Enterprises for sharing this piece with Istanbul Digital Platform followers.