Thursday, February 14, 2008


It is important for us to remember the pioneer women in our history, especially in these days which our society and women rights are in danger of darkness.

Yesterday was the anniversary of one of them; first Turkish female actress Neyyire Neyir.

A new era in Turkish cinema started in 1922 when theater artist Muhsin Ertuğrul returned home from Germany where he had worked as an actor and director since 1916. A film based on the novel of Halide Edip Adıvar, "Ateşten Gömlek" (The shirt of fire) in which the first Turkish Muslim women actresses, namely Bedia Muhavvit and Neyyire Neyir acted in the leading roles, was the first movie to deal with the War of Independence. This film was first screened in İstanbul which was still occupied by foreign armies, on April 23, 1923, the third anniversary of the founding of the Turkish Grand National Assembly, and only six months prior to the formation of the Turkish Republic.

Ateşten Gömlek (The shirt of fire), adapted from the novel by Halide Edip Adivar. Set during the years of the Turkish War of Independence it remains the "first" of an epic tradition and, furthermore, also the first film allowing Turkish women the freedom to work as actresses.

Neyyire Neyir made two more films with Muhsin Ertuğrul (whoM she was married).

Ankara postasi / The Courier Fom Ankara (1928) (as Münire Eyüp) - adapted from Halede Edip's novel
Atesten gömlek / The Shirt Of Fire (1923) - adapted from Francois de Curel’s “La Terre Inhumaine" and Reşat Nuri Güntekin's play adaptation
Kiz Kulesinde bir facia / A Tragedy At Leander's Tower (1923) Adapted from Pierre Antier's play "Les Gardiens de Phare" and P. Cloquemin's play "Les Gardiens de Phare" by Muhsin Ertugrul as writer.

She died at February 13th 1943. We remember her at her 65th anniversary and thankful for her influences to Turkish women's progress in the society.

Today is also important in history of Turkish women because of two other events. At 1931, Miss Turkey Naşide Saffet Hanım choosen Europe Queen of Beautiful Eyes and at 1951, our great pianist İdil Biret, performed her first piano recital in Paris, while she was only 10 years old. We will always carry them in a special place in our hearts.

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