The much-loved Turkish film director Yusuf Kurçenli passed away on Tuesday evening at the Medical Park Göztepe Hospital following a long battle with cancer. Kurçenli, who had been receiving treatment for the disease for one-and-a-half years, was 65 years old.
A memorial service was held at Beyoğlu’s famous Atlas Cinema in İstanbul at 1 p.m. on Wednesday and the funeral took place at the Teşkvikiye Mosque. PM Recep Tayyip Erdoğan sent his condolences to Kurçenli’s family and said in a press release that, since Kurçenli began working in the industry as a young man, it had been clear he was an exceptional talent with original ideas. Culture and Tourism Minister Ertuğrul Günay said Turkish cinema had lost a great talent.
Kurçenli was born in 1947 in the province of Rize. Having studied journalism, Kurçenli spent seven years working at the state-run Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT). In 1983 Kurçenli had his first big break with the film “Ve Recep Ve Zehra Ve Ayşe’yi.” Kurçenli went on to win various prestigious awards and directed popular Turkish soap operas such as “Baba Evi” (Father’s House). Kurçenli’s final contribution to the film industry was his movie “Yüreğine Sor” (Ask Your Heart), which was released in 2010.