Anxiety of Luxury: Istanbul Hilton Hotel at the Stage of the Turkish Cinema during the 1960s-1970s


Abstract This study looks at the Istanbul Hilton Hotel, an important product of liberalism in architecture during the 1950s in Turkey. The dichotomies concerning the hotel, i.e., the reconciliation of East-West, contextualizes the architectonics of the hotel and evidently ascertains an “anxiety of the Orient” for the “foreign” tourists. This study aims to analyse the hotel via two new arguments: (1) The hotel provides a wide field of new information when analysed via Yeşilçam film, the prominent moving-picture industry in Turkey. Yeşilçam films provide non-negligible supplementary archive of the venues and the immediate surroundings of the hotel with an insight to the behaviours of groups and individuals of a certain time and place. (2) While the 1950s was the decade of an “anxiety of the Orient” for the “foreign” tourists in experiencing the hotel, during the 1960s-1970s, the hotel became an arena of “anxiety of luxury, wealth and prosperity” for the “local” tourists. Hence, in this study, six films are analysed from these two salient decades which locate the Istanbul Hilton Hotel as the main stage: Turist Ömer (Tourist Omer) (Saner, 1964), Hırsız (The Thief) (Davudoğlu, 1965), Ah Güzel İstanbul (Oh Beautiful Istanbul) (Yılmaz, 1966), Oyun Bitti (The Game End) (Elmas, 1972), Vurgun (The Profiteering) (Ökten, 1973) and Ne Umduk Ne Bulduk (What Hoped What Found) (Ökten, 1976).