Turkey’s state authorities have deemed its major cultural objective, for over two hundred years, to be “westernization at all costs.” Despite this self-imposed goal, the core truth hasn’t changed: Turkey’s universe of thought has always leaned toward the East. Since cinema has always been a Western phenomenon, Turkish cinema is expected to correspond to a specific sphere in which Western cinema merges with Eastern thought. To truly explore the specific issues currently vexing Turkish cinema, one has to confront the aesthetic, technological, and ideological assumptions in the “deeply nationalistic and secular” approach to Turkish cinema and how they engage with the real social values of Turkish society. If one hopes to attain a cinema purified from all kinds of crisis, more democracy is required to create a cinema that is at peace with the past, present, and future of Turkish society.
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