The Türker İnanoğlu Foundation (TÜRVAK) Cinema-Theater Museum, established in 2000 with the 60-year accumulation of veteran director Türker İnanoğlu, sheds light on over 100 years of Turkish cinema and theater.
The activity coordinator of the museum in Istanbul’s Beyoğlu district, İlke Yılmaz, said the museum in the Erler Film building was Turkey’s one and only cinema museum.
“When İnanoğlu first said he would establish a museum in 2000, many cinema and theater artists donated items from their own archive to the museum. So İnanoğlu established the theater section a year later in order to show gratitude,” Yılmaz said.
Significant names from Turkish cinema including Necdet Mahfi Ayral, Selçuk Uraz, Handan Uran Ertuğrul, Fatma Andaç and Deniz Uyguner donated their archive on the establishment of the museum, while Kadri Yurdatap also made great contributions to the museum. Posters were also collected from various auctions, while cameras, film projection tools and other items from the Fono Film and Lale Film companies also took their place in the museum.
“Our goal is to show the young generations all reflections of Turkish cinema since 1914, when it first appeared,” said Yılmaz.
She noted that the Sohban Koloğlu Sculpture Hall in the museum was the most popular section for visitors.
“We have bee wax sculptures of actors like Adile Naşit, Kemal Sunal, Cilalı İbo and Sadri Alışık, as well directors including Atıf Yılmaz and Osman Seden. They draw most interest from children. University students, especially from communications faculties, also come to visit us, as they are interested in recording tools, editing benches and microphones,” Yılmaz said.
The camera used to shoot the first sound film in Turkish cinema, directed by Muhsin Ertuğrul, “Istanbul Sokakları” (The Streets of Istanbul) is also on display at the museum.
“There is also a camera used by Charlie Chaplin to make three films, and we have an underwater camera in the Halit Refiğ Hall. Film projection machines working with coal are among other important objects in the museum,” Yılmaz said.
Tarık Akan sculpture
The museum organized a memorial exhibition after the death of popular Turkish actor Taruk Akan last year.
“Sculptor Bülent İşcan made a full-size sculpture of Akan. His entire cinematographic archive, film posters and 11 films were included in the museum archive. We have his films scenes, the archive of “Ses” magazine where he appeared on the cover, as well as illustrations from his films. We also have all columns written on Akan, articles and documents we collected after his death. These are the things we recently added to the museum’s archive,” Yılmaz said. “As a museum we released a catalogue titled “Turkish Cinema in 5,555 Posters,” and now it has been expanded as “Turkish Cinema in 7,777 Posters.” It has become a source on all Turkish films for researchers. We also have a magazine named ‘Cintele,’” she said.
The TÜRVAK Cinema-Theater Museum can be visited in Istanbul every day except Monday between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.