Turkish Documentary Cinema and the Role of Foreigners Based on Digital Film Archives

The evolution of the Turkish documentary from the Ottoman to the present day consists of three main parts: documentaries from the Ottoman to the Republican period, documentaries from the Republic to the Second World War, and documentaries from the Second World War to the present. The first documentary films were made with the introduction of the cinematograph device to the Ottoman lands. The French and especially the British made many documentaries on Ottoman soil from 1897 to 1923. These films are mostly news, travel, military and propaganda. The first documentary of the Turks is the film The Fall of the Russian Monument in Ayastefanos (1914), shot by Fuat Uzkınay. In this study, documentaries from the Ottoman period to the Republican period were examined and the films that were shot by foreigners in the Ottoman lands were discussed. The aim of the research is to reveal the role of power and foreigners in the development of Turkish documentary cinema, based on the first documentary films shot by foreigners. In this context, foreign digital film archives and official state archives were investigated by document analysis method. Documentary films form a balance between official state archives as a visual document and interpretative texts. In the conclusion section, cause and effect relationships between events are discussed in the light of quantitative data collected from digital film archives and official correspondence.

Barış Tolga Ekinci
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