By Hilal Ustuk
ISTANBUL (AA) – With its pre-production process ongoing, Turkish director Alper Caglar told the story behind his epic war series Gokturk Trilogy, which will narrate the foundation and development of the Turkic Khaganate of Gokturk in Central Asia.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency in Istanbul, Caglar, known for his movies "Dag" and "Boru" said: “I want to take my audience’s breath away as they glide upon the skies of Central Asia, for them to think ‘where my people come from is wondrous’, to experience a return to their roots for a couple of hours.
“I want to showcase such a canvas that the film becomes something they revisit every year to enjoy the story; to return to that age, those people, that adventure. If they love the film, to think ‘I wish I experienced my first view all over again’. Then that would mean I succeeded in weaving a special film,” said Caglar, who is also the scriptwriter of the series.
The Gokturks were Turkic people who lived a semi-nomadic lifestyle in Central Asia.
Likening the history of Turks to a “meandering river”, Caglar said: “Every little bend has beloved historical figures. Relatively close to our era are Ataturk [founder of the Republic of Turkey], Mehmed II [Ottoman sultan known as The Conqueror] and Alp Arslan [sultan of Seljuq Turks]. Further back, we have Bumin and Istami [Gokturk rulers].”
Referring to Gokturk brothers Bumin and Istami, he said: “Because of those brothers, nomadic peoples witnessed the rise of the largest empire the world had ever seen. Gokturks were famous not only for war but security, trade and peaceful cultural exchange.
“They were a steppe civilization meritocratic enough to have people rise through society due to their accomplishments, not their birthright. If Turkic people moved 4,000 kilometers west in a thousand years and now exist in Anatolia, Volga, Kazan and beyond, the reason for this journey is the Gokturk Empire,” he said.
Stating that Gokturk Trilogy represents his dream, Caglar said it kills “three birds with one stone. The first bird is making an epic war film built on the foundations of my prior technical experiences. The second, to create a film which is appreciated globally. The third bird is perhaps the most important — emotion. To be more specific, courage. A film is only remembered so far as the emotions it invokes in its audience, and the initial installment ‘The First Gokturk’ is being designed to kindle this feeling.”
The trilogy will be filmed in different countries.
“The schedule has locations in Turkey, EU countries, prairies of North America and of course, sublime Central Asia. It should take a total of five months in two separate seasonal installments,” Caglar said.
As well as Turks, international actors are also expected to play in the series, according to the director.
“The main reason for this is hidden within the story,” he noted.