Erase the mention of Midnight Express from your mind and try watching a more accurate Turkish film. The films below shed light on people, society and traditions in Turkey, more accurately then Midnight Express. These are the first of many Turkish films that I’ll watch, but I believe these 5 provide a foundation of understanding and look into Turkish culture.


  1. Korkuyorum Anne! (Mommy, I’m Scared!) / İnsan nedir ki? (What is a human anyway?) 2004 COMEDY
    In an apartment building where neighbors, friends, and family are living in close quarters, three male protagonists encounter three phases of manhood in Turkish society.

  3. Issiz Adam (Alone) 2008 DRAMA | ROMANCE
    Portrays the life of those whose lives have been isolated by modern lifestyles. The film is filled with food, mothers, old songs, and love.

  5. Babam ve Oglum (My Father and My Son) 2005 DRAMA
    A Turkish man, whose wife died while giving birth to his son during a military coup, finally returns home. Estranged from his father for turning his back on the family farm, he takes his 8 year-old son and tries to repair relations.

  7. Yahsi Bati (The Ottoman Cowboys) 2009 COMEDY | WESTERN
    The extremely funny story of two Ottoman government officials who travel to the U.S. in 19th Century to give a gift to the President from the Ottoman Sultan.

  9. Eskiya (The Bandit) 1996 DRAMA | CRIME
    The epic adventures of the legendary Baran the Bandit following his release from prison. After serving 35 years, it is no surprise that the world has changed dramatically.


Whatever your excuse, if you’re not willing to watch these, may I recommend a documentary:
Crossing the Bridge: The Sound of Istanbul 2005 DOCUMENTARY | MUSIC
Shot by German film director, Fatih Akin about the music scene throughout Istanbul.