Yücel Çakmaklı’s Islamic-Turkish Millî Sinema
(“National Cinema”) (1964-2006)

Project management: Dr Ömer Alkın
Project duration: 2020-2023
Research institution: Philipps-Universität Marburg
Department: FB 09, Institute for Media Studies

For more than thirty years, scholars have been investigating different conceptions of ‘Occidentalism’. For the most part, these studies bring together discourse-analytically conceptualised research that analyses the dichotomous relationship between Orient and Occident and the complex discursive and historical entanglements in different regional and national contexts.

Although the studies examine radio broadcasts, photographs or other media, the non-textual media-aesthetic qualities (i.e.: image, sound, etc.) are hardly included in the analysis. What part do media-aesthetic qualities of discourses play in constituting occidentalist discourse meaning? Such discourses are assumed to be those that construct the West in a pejorative and delimiting way in order to stabilise and consolidate a non-Western self. The research project explores this overarching question using an example that has been neglected in the research discourse so far.

Concretely, it examines the cinematic oeuvre of the founder of a national-Islamic cinema in Turkey, Yücel Çakmaklı (b. 1943-2009), by means of cinematic work analyses, and works out decidedly film-aesthetic characteristics that implement occidentalist discourse dynamics cinematically.