A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

1453 and All That: New Turkish Film a Huge Hit

The new Turkish film Fetih 1453 (Conquest 1453) has been seen by two and a half million people and made a couple of million dollars in its first week in theaters.

At one time, I'm told (perhaps it's just apocrypha among historians of the Middle Ages), either Oxford or Cambridge ended their history courses  with 1453, Everything after that was considered current events. I regret to say that most people today (well, outside Turkey and the Orthodox Christian countries) probably don't even recognize the date. May 29, 1453, was the date Constantinople (Istanbul today) fell to the Turks. It was the end of the Eastern Roman Empire ("Byzantine" is a modern coinage; they always called themselves Romans) after an 1,100 year run, and the crowning moment of the Ottoman expansion. The film has got German Christians upset apparently, and of course the Greeks. Here's the trailer, with English subtitles:


David Mack said...

David Mack said...

Unlikely to help Turkey get into the EU. On the other hand, with all the problems of that organization, it is amazing that the Turkish government is so steadfast in seeking admission in the face of Christian chauvinism in its secular garb!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012 11:47:00 AM EST

Michael Collins Dunn said...


There's still an EU?