Once upon a time in the 1960s and 70s, there was a period when the film industry in many countries, and especially in Turkey, knew nothing about copyright infringement.
At that time, the Turkish film business was thriving because the local directors and screenwriters simply conveniently copied tons of the hits from their American and European models, even going as far as to steal the effects and the soundtracks directly from the originals shot for shot.
This period produced many kinds of genre films, from horror and science fiction to the hugely popular super hero films of the time.The films were wide-ranging, easy to comprehend and entertaining to a fault – so there wasn’t any Turkish One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s nest in production, but Turkish Dracula was a no-brainer. This is basically how absurd cinematic gems such as the Turkish "Star Wars", the Turkish "E.T." and many more came about.
It is worth adding that their charm doesn’t necessarily lie in their superficial comic value, or even in their odd, out-of-the-ordinary film logic but in the courage of the filmmakers to make films, despite the limitations of available resources.
Fundamentally, Turksploitation films are still popular till this day because these films do what they were made to do – entertain; even if it’s at the expense of snarky, criticism.
10. Turkish Star Trek (1973)
The film commonly referred to as The Turkish Star Trek only earned its title because of the unauthorized use of some plot, dialogue, stylistic elements taken verbatim from several Star Trek episodes including The Man Trap, What Are Little Girls Made Of, I, Mudd, Arena and Amok Time; Although being an unofficial project and part of another franchise, Turkish star trek stands as the first movie to take place in the Star Trek universe, filmed six years before the now official motion picture.
Turkish Star Trek is most reminiscent of the first episode of the Star Trek series but whereas the original Enterprise crew dealt with evil aliens in the universe, the Turkish version deals with farmer Ömer. Our protagonist Ömer beams aboard the Enterprise, creating havoc, and during the course of the movie Nancy shape shifts into a creature that preys for salt, Kirk battles androids, a Gorn-like creature and even Mr. Spak.
Perhaps, it should take the weight off our minds knowing that the director was able to get an “A lister” by the name of Sadri Alışık for the role of Ömer whose movies often depicted the downtrodden in society and were very popular in the 1960s and 1970s. He even has cultural center named after him in Istanbul.