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Let's talk about Turkey

With the scenic valleys of Switzerland and the sunny shores of the Mediterranean being part of Bollywood cinema since decades now, looks like filmmakers these days are busy scouting for newer locales.

Thanks to its vastness of landscape, architectural heritage and breathtaking scenery as well as its relatively cheaper production costs, Turkey is becoming Bollywood’s most favoured outdoor location.

Two of the most expensive films this year – Salman Khan’s spy thriller and Abbas-Mustan’s next – have been shot extensively in Turkey. In fact, even a slew of regional films are being shot in this Eurasian country.

To top it all, even Indian authorities have expressed an interest in holding the IIFA ceremony there in the coming years. Here are a few films that have managed to capture the quintessential Turkey at its best...

Guru (2007)
This Mani Ratnam film was actually shot at Turkish venues with the local government’s assistance when Abhishek Bachchan’s character goes to Turkey to become a spice trader. Interestingly, Mallika Sherawat’s item number in the film was shot in Istanbul.

Vaada Raha (2008)
While this Samir Karnik film starring Bobby Deol and Kangana Ranaut barely made a sound at the box office, some part of it was shot in Ephesus. Moreover, the songs of the film were supposed to be shot at Manila but due to bad weather, they decided to go to Mauritius but eventually settled for Turkey.

Mission Istaanbul (2008)
As the name suggests, a major part of this action film was filmed in the capital city. What’s intriguing is that almost every Turk in this film was speaking Hindi fluently as if it was their national language!

Ajab Prem ki Gajab Kahani (2009)
Ranbir Kapoor and Katrina Kaif’s chemistry was evident in the songs of the film. No wonder it gave rise to rumours of a secret affair. The track Tera Hone Laga Hoon was shot in Istanbul and Tu Jaane Na was separately shot in Aspendos, Perga and Pamukkale.

Game (2011)
Co-produced by Farhan Akhtar and directed by Abhinay Deo, this multi-starrer thriller had Abhishek Bachchan playing a casino owner in Turkey. Some chunks of the film were shot there. Abhinay explains why, “Istanbul is very shooting-friendly. Plus, it’s cheaper than other European cities. And importantly, it provides a unique character to the screen.”

Tell Me O Kkhuda (2011)
Hema Malini directed this drama and cast her entire acting family in it. The film was shot extensively in Turkey and even saw Turkish star Meltem Cumbul make a guest appearance along with Salman Khan.

Best of both the worlds
Spokesperson of Yash Chopra’s production house, Aashish Singh sums up, “The diversity in climate offers the possibility of enjoying all four seasons during the same period within the country. Also, you can shoot on a beach as well as in the snow by just travelling for about two hours. Turkey has the perfect mix of two continents, Europe and Asia, both in its look, the culture and the people.” 

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