Relations Between Power and Cinema in Turkey During the 1970s

This research looks at the cinema and power relations in Turkey in the 1970’s. The
1970s, during which such problems as violence before and after the Memorandum
of 12 March, political polarization, political instability, embargoes following the
Cyprus Peace Operation, increase in oil prices and shortage of basic necessities
and staples in the market were seen, witnessed problems in cinema as well. The
cinema owners, who had to borrow money from loan sharks to compete with the
growing popularity of television in the households and to create resources for
movies, lost their audience, theaters and revenues, thus they turned to low-cost
sex movies and movies called “arabesk” to make up for that situation. As a result,
they lost the traditional family audience and underwent a financial contraction in
the sector. While all those things happened in mainstream cinema, some cinema
groups with socialist and Islamist background, aiming to use cinema as a tool for
their political goals, emerged. The state, on the other hand, felt the need to make
new legal regulations to control the popularity of sex and political movies. The
artists expressed their demand for various reforms in the film industry with the
reports they prepared during that period. This study adopts an interdisciplinary
approach and historical research method in consideration of the subject and
nature of the period. In addition to the literature review on the subject, this study
includes the documents obtained from the Ministry of Culture General Directorate
of Copyright Archives and Presidential Republic Archives (CCA), some of which
will be published for the first time in this article.

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