Modern Istanbul Part 3: Internationality East and West
How does Istanbul deal with its many antagonisms?
2010, Istanbul was one of the European capitals of culture. The Turkish metropolis at the Bosporus attracts many people and connects orient and occident. The face of Istanbul is unique, with many different facets – few other cities can offer this richness of diversity.
Berlin, London, New York, Istanbul. The city at the Bosporus with its 13 million inhabitants easily takes its place among the most popular big cities. Filmmaker Önder Çakar is a well-travelled cosmopolitan – but his heart belongs to Istanbul: he loves the city and its seemingly unsurmountable antagonisms, he even likes them.
In Istanbul, internationality doesn’t mean just looking westwards. Mid-eastern cultures have long been integrated into the city: Syrians, Kurds, Iranis live here and leave their traces in the art scene and city culture. Of course, cultural and religious diversity, internationality, and urban life have to solve some conflicts. Individual interests and groups collide, cooperation with the administration, the city, the state doesn’t always work without friction. Çakar’s work is based on exactly these extreme conflicts.
Önder Çakar is a member of the Yeni Sinemacilar group which belongs to the new critical film and cinema makers in Turkey. He is the scriptwriter of the award-winning film Takva.
Text: Boris Alexander Knop