Gladiator - Russel Crowe was shooting in Kayaköy

Gladiator - Russel Crowe was shooting in Kayaköy

Who is not familiar with the historical film "Gladiator" in which Russel Crowe played the leading role. About 10 years ago, the Australian actor stayed in Turkey for several weeks of shooting of his new film "The Water Diviner".

Russel Crowe had already visited Turkey the previous year to select possible locations for the film, including the Mugla region and the former Greek village of Kayaköy near the provincial capital of Fethiye. In the meantime, the filming locations have been determined, which will initially take place in Istanbul until mid-March. After that, filming will continue in the ruins of the village of Kayaköy, which was called Levissi by the Greeks who once lived there.

Dardanelles Campaign or Gallipoli Campaign

the water devinerThe film "The Water Diviner" is about the story of an Australian man who lost his sons during the First World War in the so-called Çanakkale War on the Turkish peninsula of Gallipoli and whose traces he is looking for in Turkey. At that time, the Entente powers wanted to occupy the peninsula in a joint operation and use it as a starting point for conquering the Ottoman capital Constantinople, but failed because of the defenders. Both sides lost a total of 350,000 men (100,000 killed and 250,000 wounded), which was almost half of the soldiers deployed. In Turkey, the operation is called after the province of Çanakkale Savaşı ("War of Çanakkale"). In the English-speaking world it is known as the Dardanelles Campaign or Gallipoli Campaign (“Dardanelles” or “Gallipoli campaign”).

In the historic ruined village of Kayaköy, where another part of the film was shot at the time, ethnic Greeks lived in the majority until 1922/23, who later had to leave the Fethiye region in the so-called "population exchange" in fulfilment of the Treaty of Lausanne with Greece. After the expulsion of the Greek population, most of whom fled to Crete, ethnic Turks who had been expelled from Thessaloniki, among others, settled here, but they moved to the plain below the city as farmers. So the city lay completely fallow. Today Kayaköy is a museum village that is under monument protection; almost 3,500 house ruins have been preserved; including two Greek Orthodox church ruins that are the ghost town's main attractions. There is also a private museum on the history of the city. In the center of the village is a spring well from the 17th century. Kayaköy has been declared a World Friendship and Peace Village by UNESCO.

In addition to the world star Russel Crowe, the two well-known Turkish actors Yilmaz Erdogan and Cem Yilmaz will also play in the film "The Water Diviner". In an interview during his last annual visit to Turkey, the 49-year-old Oscar winner Russel Crowe raved about the hospitality and kindness of the Turks.

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