The 11 Best Documentaries About Turkey

Jul 20, 2023 | Best Of, History

Are you looking for a unique window into the culture, history, and people of Turkey? Look no further than these 11 mesmerizing documentaries about Turkey. From exploring the country’s rich architectural heritage to discovering the evolving modern identity of its cities, these compelling films provide an intimate glimpse into the stories and lives of Turks through captivating visuals and insightful narration.


1. Turkey One Year After The Failed Coup

It has been nearly a year since the failed coup attempt in Turkey, and Recep Tayyip Erdoan, the country’s president, is still celebrating. Join us on an incredible journey to Istanbul’s Yenikap Square, where thousands of people gathered with red Turkish flags to show their solidarity and support for the democratically elected government. Hear from President Erdogan himself as he expresses his gratitude for the nation’s courage and its commitment to freedom and democracy. Witness first-hand how Prime Minister, two opposition leaders and many others shared a stage together in harmony. Come along with us as we explore this unique story of unity amongst diversity!


2. Train Across Turkey

Do you want a unique way to explore Turkey? The best way is by train. In this video, we will take you on a journey across the country by rail. From Istanbul to Ankara and Konya, experience the beauty of Turkish landscapes unspoiled by roadside development as you travel in air-conditioned comfort and style! We’ll also show you how high-speed rail has revolutionized long distance journeys with trips taking only 4 hours 15 minutes from Istanbul to Ankara or 1 hour 44 minutes from Ankara to Konya. Finally, learn about the short bus rides that can get you from these major cities to some of Turkey’s most popular destinations such as South Coast resorts or Cappadocia. So join us for an unforgettable journey through Turkey – all aboard!


3. The Black Sea Turkey

Get ready to explore the Black Sea region of Turkey with this incredible documentary! We’ll take you back in time to the first millennium BC, when ancient Greeks battled local “barbarians” for control. You’ll meet Mithridates IV Eupator, who almost ousted the Romans from Anatolia and made a brief appearance on the international scene. Discover how these early conquerors left their mark on towns whose names are still Turkified versions of their old names. Join us as we uncover remarkable stories about one of Turkey’s most fascinating regions!


4. By 1517, Ba The History Of The Turkish And Ottoman Empire

The Ottoman Empire was one of the most powerful empires in history. During its peak, it stretched from Arabia to Eastern Europe and established a strong legal system as well as encouraging art and literature. In this documentary, we explore how the empire expanded under Sultan Suleiman’s reign with his son Selim I conquering Syria, Palestine, Arabia and Egypt for the Ottomans. We also look at why Suleiman was seen by many Muslims as both a religious leader and political ruler during this time of authority, stability and wealth for the empire.


5. 4K Istanbul, Turkey

Mert Gurel is a local in Istanbul, Turkey who loves to watch documentaries about the city he calls his home. As a video production fixer, he helps foreign and local firms produce quality films or documentaries that capture the unique and chaotic atmosphere of this culturally diverse metropolis. He believes that those who have lived in and profited from Istanbul deserve compelling stories to be told about their experiences. In this 4K documentary film, Mert shares his favourite movies which provide an intimate look into life in Istanbul!


6. Erdoğan’s world – Turkey and its President

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has been in power for two decades, and during that time Turkey has become increasingly autocratic under his rule. But despite the corruption, high inflation and authoritarian leadership style, he still enjoys a lot of support in the country. In this video we explore Erdoğan’s world – from his policies to why many Turks are attracted to them – including economic liberalism, Islamism and nationalism – as well as how press freedom is being curtailed by his government. We also look at how the devastating earthquake on February 6th damaged Erdoğan’s reputation and revealed crooked developers who paid little attention to safety standards. Join us as we travel through Erdoğan’s Turkey meeting both supporters and opponents of the head of state!


7. Femicide and domestic abuse in Turkey

Women in Turkey are facing an alarming rise in femicide and domestic abuse. This documentary follows the courageous story of lawyer Ipek Bozkurt, who is determined to confront violence against women by fighting for justice with a group of activists. We meet two cases: Arzu, married at 14 and Kübra, a former television presenter who both survived brutal attacks from their partners but were left badly scarred. The legal system often gives lenient sentences to male perpetrators which makes it even harder for these women to get justice. “Dying to Divorce” offers an intimate look into the struggle for independence and equality that Turkish women face today, as well as highlighting Ipeks Bozkurt’s fight against a repressive government.


8. Istanbul : Byzantium For Ever

Istanbul is a city of two continents, where the past meets the present. This documentary takes us on an amazing journey through Istanbul’s growth and modernization over the years since 1970 – from Byzantium to Constantinople, and finally to its current status as Turkey’s economic and cultural capital. Pierre Brouwers guides viewers through this fascinating story of transformation with his first feature report in Istanbul!


9. An investigation into the Mossad’s activities in Turkey

Are you curious about the dark world of Israeli intelligence-gathering in Turkey? In this video, we dive into the story behind the arrest of 15 and then 44 agents suspected of working for Israel’s spy agency Mossad. We explore how these agents were identified and recruited by Mossad, as well as how Turkish authorities were tipped off and launched a covert operation to track them down. Get ready for an investigation into espionage, secret recordings, spy networks and Middle East political intrigue!


10. Turkiye’s Economy: The Untold Story

Learn the untold story of Turkiye’s economic transformation over the past 20 years, as seen through President Erdogan’s administration. Almir Čolan takes you on an in-depth journey exploring the country’s resilience and strategic foresight to combat inflation and achieve self-sufficiency. You’ll hear from everyday citizens, entrepreneurs, businesspeople and more on their perspectives of Turkiye’s pursuit of a four-pillar economic plan. Follow this captivating exploration into a nation’s remarkable transformation – a story that needs to be heard!


11. THE HISTORY OF TURKEY in 10 minutes

Go back in time and learn about the fascinating history of Turkey. This video will take you through the entire known period of Turkish history, from its formation as a Republic on October 29th 1923 to present day. Discover how Ottoman and Turkic Beyliks shaped this land and get an insight into the rich culture and heritage that makes up part of what we know today as modern-day Turkey.

Read On – Our Latest Top Documentaries Lists

David B