Login:   Pass:     Register - Forgot Password - Resend Activation

Turkish Class Forums / Turkey


Add reply to this discussion
Moderators: libralady, sonunda
When a ‘Turkish Passport’ saved thousands of lives
1.       tunci
7149 posts
 24 Oct 2011 Mon 01:12 am

When a ‘Turkish Passport’ saved thousands of lives



The recent documentary movie ‘Turkish Passport’ is the unlikely story of Turkish diplomats who helped save tens of thousands of lives by issuing passports to Jews during World War II. The new documentary contains extensive research and an impressive production, which hits the right nerves, especially in these trying times

The movie tells the story of diplomats and those saved by them through interviews with the survivors.

The movie tells the story of diplomats and those saved by them through interviews with the survivors

The Holocaust might have been an accurate indicator of how low humanity could go and of the atrocities humans were capable of. Great tragedies make good stories, and the Holocaust has been an unfaltering source for storytellers for decades.

Jewish and non-Jewish filmmakers alike have turned to World War II for real stories that were more often than not more gruesome than the sickest mind could imagine. First came the stories of war. Then came the human stories of tragedies of families fallen and families forced to break apart, none spared for the sickest game the modern world has seen.

“Schindler’s List,” Spielberg’s magnum opus to many, was one of the first in exercising hope and praise for unsung heroes of WW II. It was the story of one powerful man who had clung to his humanity and saved over a thousand Jewish lives.

Just when one thinks that every story about the Holocaust has already been told, an unlikely tale of hope, optimism and heroism, or “the only Holocaust story with a happy ending,” enters our lives.

“Turkish Passport” is an unusual story about the Holocaust; it is unusual simply by having the word “Turkish” in its title, since Turkey was a neutral country during WW II. The documentary, directed by former advertisement director Burak Cem Arlıel and written by Deniz Yeşilgün and Gökhan Zincir, is a surprising recount of Turkish diplomats in France and other European countries who had saved the lives of tens of thousands of Jews by issuing them Turkish passports.

‘Whoever saves one life, saves the entire world’

Based on extensive research of four years, “Turkish Passport” tells the story of Turkish diplomats and those saved by them through interviews with the survivors, the relatives of the survivors and the relatives of the Turkish diplomats, as well as re-enactments. It was definitely a period when Turkish bureaucracy was not as stalled, and when a Turkish passport was literally a lifesaver.

The film recounts stories of Turkish diplomats like Behiç Erkin, Turkey’s ambassador to France, who issued passports to French Jews of Turkish ancestry and helped ship them off to Turkey in rescue trains. The diplomats issued passports to anyone who could utter a few sentences in Turkish, an ironic reminder of Kurds who sought asylum in Europe in the 1990s through uttering sentences in Kurdish.

Director Arlıel is well aware that the interviews he managed to capture on film are valuable, yet are repetitive after a certain point. That was when some of the re-enactments came to the rescue. These scenes work very much like a feature film, rich in detail and meticulous in production. They are not your run-of-the-mill re-enactments of the History Channel variety that are designed to work as fillers.

The director and the production team are also aware of the extent of their research, making sure that no one goes without credit, even though not all the research was included in the film. The web site acts like a companion piece to the film. Choosing English as its language, the site features details on research, documents, and survivor testimonials, some not seen in the documentary. Words of one of the eye witnesses in the web site perhaps best summarizes the backbone of the film: “My father was arrested by the Germans and sent to the Drancy internment camp. My mother immediately went to the Turkish Embassy and asked for help rescuing my father. Thanks to the letters written by the Ambassador, my father was rescued from the camp.”

“Turkish Passport” was screened in the recent Adana Golden Boll Film Festival and in Cannes Film Festival last May, creating a word-of-mouth buzz for both its subject matter and its impressive execution. The tag line “Whoever saves one life, saves the entire world” might seem like a cliché, but it truly captures the film’s essence, and rings even more powerful in these trying times



lovelovevampire, Elisabeth and insallah liked this message
Add reply to this discussion

Turkish Dictionary
Turkish Chat
Open mini chat
New in Forums
TLC servers hacked, all user emails & pass...
admin: The user sign in and ... are ... with security in mind, and functional...
E-T: It´s one of the things on my bu...
gokuyum: No. It doesnt make sense. You can say ... yapmak istediğim bi...
og2009: DÜNYA TOPLUMU VE FELSEFE ... okul ... felsefe ... ....
24 HOUR FLASH SALE for learning Turkish e-...
qdemir: ...
Grammar Textbook
qdemir: ...
E-T: I see you have done this before?
harp00n: Bunu ... daha önce de ... Bu konuda iyi olduğun ç...
og2009: ...
og2009: ...
og2009: ...
og2009: ...
harp00n: ...
Random Pictures of Turkey
Most liked