The Turkish Embassy welcomed the impromptu premiere of Istanbul Unveiled, a travel documentary produced and directed by Sherif Yenen and Levent Ayasli Wednesday night. The film’s US debut, which was scheduled to occur at the Smithsonian Institute on December 10th, was derailed by Tuesday’s unwieldy snowstorm.
At the reschedule date and venue the intimate audience members at the embassy were the first to lay eyes upon the documentary that highlights some of Istanbul’s most treasured icons; Hagia Sophia, Basilica Cistern, Blue Mosque, Grand Bazaar, Bosporus Strait, and Turkish baths. The historic city, once the capital of three distinct empires, is still considered the cultural, economic, and social epicenter of the country.
In the movie, Yenen and Ayasli hoped to showcase the city’s tourist attractions while also introducing the world to lesser known and “off the beaten path” destinations. Director, producer, and travel specialist Yenen made a personal appearance at the event, introducing the film and its inspirations… and accepting a series of questions from the audience after the credits rolled.
Guests — including a host of Turkey’s diplomatic representatives; Uzeyir Baser, Third Secretary, Turkish Embassy; Feriha Istar, Information Officer Culture and Tourism Office; and Murat Karakus, Deputy Counselor Culture and Tourism Office — enjoyed Turkish food and drink along with the film, including tastes of sweet, flakey Baklava (an Ottoman Empire original and a treat showcased in Istanbul Unveiled).