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Cahide Sonku
The First Star, The First Female Director in Turkish Cinema

CAHİDE SONKU

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1916

She was born in Yemen. After her family moved to Istanbul, she grew up in her grandfather's mansion in Fatih. Her first act on stage was to play a fairy queen in a play when she was in Cumhuriyet All Girls' secondary school. Then she acted in plays at the Community Centre.

Cahide Sonku
Cahide Sonku

1932

She heard that the City Theatre in Istanbul provided acting opportunities as extras in addition to drama education so she took the exam and passed. While she continued her education, she acted as an extra in musical plays. Muhsin Ertuğrul noticed her and she began her acting career in theatre with the play Yedi Köyün Zeynebi.

1933

She was only 17 when she had the lead role in a movie called Söz Bir Allah Bir directed by Muhsin Ertuğrul.

Cahide Sonku
Cahide Sonku

1935

She played in the first movie of Türkiye set in a rural area called Aysel Bataklı Damın Kızı and this movie earned her the title of first star of Türkiye.

1949

When the director of the movie Fedakar Ana in which she played got sick, she went behind the camera to complete the movie. She became the first female director in the history of Turkish Cinema history.

Cahide Sonku
with Zeki Müren
Cahide Sonku

1950

She founded Sonku Film Studios. She directed the movie Vatan ve Namık Kemal together with Talat Artemel and Sami Ayanoğlu. She was the producer of the movie Beklenen Şarkı which made Zeki Müren famous. Her struggles began when she lost copies of all the movies she made and her fortune at a fire at Sonku Film.

1962 - 1963

She started “Cahitler” Theatre Company with Cahit Irgat.

1964

She worked at Istanbul City Theatre and Dormen Theatre for a brief period of time.

Cahide Sonku

1977

Her last film was Yeşilçam Sokağı directed by Ülkü Erakalın.

1981

Cahide Sonku who marked many firsts in the history of Turkish cinema died after many years of struggle but her star continues to shine...

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