Foreign filmmakers flock to Turkey in 2019

A surge in foreign film productions in Turkey has led to a 68 percent rise in foreign productions since last year, Turkish daily Sabah reported.

A total of 166 foreign companies shot in Turkey in the first seven months of 2019, compared to 99 over the same period in 2018, Sabah said.

The enthusiasm for Turkey among filmmakers was spurred by a new cinema law in January that offers incentives to shoot in the country, Deputy Culture and Tourism Minister Özgül Özkan Yavuz said.

The legal amendment also saw the establishment of new boards and commissions to evaluate applications from production companies and work with filmmakers during shooting, international legal news site Lexology reported in March.

The filming this year has mostly taken place in well-known tourist destinations like Istanbul, the unique rocky landscapes in the central Anatolian area of Cappadocia and the western city of Izmir, and in southeastern provinces Gaziantep and Mardin, Sabah quoted Yavuz as saying.

The ministry aims to promote more diverse shooting locations to filmmakers, and it has prepared a “Filming in Turkey” website to act as a guide to foreign filmmakers, Yavuz said.