December 8, 2023

Iskele Turns Into Old Istanbul (Part 2)

Steven Roberts continues his report on the filming of ‘Reis’ (Leader) a Turkish film about President Erdogan in the town of Iskele.

Iskele-4I didn’t see filming start on Friday, but the transformation of Iskele to look like 1950s Istanbul continues apace. These photos show how this is happening stage by stage. The tarmac road has been covered in beautiful cobbles in a circular pattern set in sand. I expect these will have to be removed after filming, though I wonder if the Iskele mayor might be tempted to make the film makers an offer to leave them in place?  They certainly improve the look of the street.

In the photos below you can see the fruit stall made out of a wooden frame, with straw sides. Many of the existing buildings now have cloth awnings covering plastic signs, and tin roofs and wooden frontages to change the appearance. One building even has a ‘stone’ frontage on it which is actually made out of heavy plastic sheeting. Most of the shops now have signs made of wood or tin.

Walking around Iskele you see workers cutting wooden panels to make frames for buildings, cables are being laid and lights are being put in position, this may suggest to me that some of the filming may be after dark.

Iskele-9I’ve seen filming take place in my home city in England, but that was usually done in a few hours.

This set is obviously going to be used for a number of scenes, and a great deal time and effort is going into this transformation,. Attention to detail seems to be the hallmark of this film, and I’m sure Iskele really will look like old Istanbul when the film is finally released.

Why not pay the town a visit now, and see for yourself?

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