istanbul dramatized

Turkey’s booming drama production industry and its wide-open global reception is often considered to be the symbol of an emerging ‘soft’ power. Istanbul, the city of many contradictions as in the case of other metropolises, is the perfect urban setting for many of the multi-million dollar drama productions. The city has the best of various worlds, the beast and the beauty; the western and the oriental; the modern and the traditional; the local and the mega metropolis,  to attract a trans-national spectator for movie-length episodes of tens, if not hundreds of drama productions.

With their super high production budgets, these dramas also provide striking images of Istanbul, albeit mostly dramatized and highlighted. Here are some bird-eye-view screen shots of Istanbul from one of the many new productions, trying to depict the city with many of its faces: Galata Tower, gecekondu neighborhoods, skyscrapers, the bridge, Istikla Street, Mecidiyeköy Viaduct, Bus Rapid Transport, etc…

2 responses on “istanbul dramatized

  1. I love these images! How did you get hold of them?

    You’re spot on about how Istanbul has it all from modern to traditional, poor to rich, etc. You even called out bus rapid transit! But I don’t see any buses on the 2 BRT shots.

    How are the BRT lines doing? I was last in Istanbul in 2007, and I saw the BRT line under construction down the center of the highway near Zeytinburnu Metro station.

    I’ve actually put in a post on my blog comparing San Francisco and Istanbul. I’ve been intrigued with the idea of comparing them due to the Golden Gate being named in reference to the Golden Horn. They are both great harbor cities with great bridges, and amazing hills. Check it out here:


    • The images are screenshots from the drama production, you can check the trailer above.

      The BRT line is heavily used, and facing various problems. Overcrowding is a major issue, especially at the peak hours. The municipality couldn’t diversify the BRT lines and ease the pressure on this one. The connection with other transportation options are not good enough. Also the BRT stops are too narrow, causing extreme discomfort at the rush hours. Still, it became a very important means of transport for thousands of Istanbul residences.

      I liked the article on San Francisco and Istanbul!

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