Turkey has a rich architectural heritage dating back thousands of years ranging from contemporary modern through to ancient ruins. As well as a wealth of unique looks, Turkey also offers visiting productions many locations that double well for other countries.
Cost & Rebates
Turkey is one of the least expensive of the European Mediterranean countries. Istanbul’s depth of European and Middle Eastern looks allows those looks without the additional travel costs. The Turkish Lira remains relatively weak against most major currencies helping make Turkey a cost efficient place to shoot for many projects. On the whole Turkey offers a fairly high production value. Turkey offers a rebate of up to 30% based on local spend for feature films, documentaries and TV series.
When To Shoot
Turkey is a large country with wide climate variation. The hot, dry summers run from June to September. The mild, rainy winters run from December to March. Winter conditions can be much harsher in the more arid interior with snow in the mountain region common. Spring (April to May) and fall (October to November) are generally the best months to film for weather.
Technically speaking, film crews entering Turkey must first have their film permit, which they would then take to their local Turkish consulate to have their passports stamped so they can enter as film crew. Given that this process is time consuming, some crews just fly in as tourists. Western passport holders choosing that option can enter Turkey visa-free or with an e-Visa for stays of up to 90 days.
Cast, Crew & Equipment
Turkey has a good pool of directors, directors of photography and stills photographers. Turkey has a camera union but as it is not strong, rates are negotiable. Turkish crews are skilled and hardworking. For western producers the process may appear to be somewhat chaotic but as many repeat visitors will tell you, Turkey can be trusted to deliver the final product. Turkey’s close proximity to major European production centres allows easy access to those technical and creative crews should you ever need to look further. Talent is non-union and buyouts are negotiable.
Turkey has a variety of Mediterranean talent looks available of both Middle Eastern and European appearance. The Kurdish people are Turkey’s largest minority. All other talent is best brought in from abroad. Turkey has all the standard camera, grip and lighting equipment available locally including specialised gear such as underwater housing, car and heli mounts. Some equipment such as the Technocrane needs to be brought in but given Turkey’s close proximity to major European production centres, importing is easy. For productions looking to bring in their own film equipment Turkey is an ATA carnet country.