||This article may require copy editing for grammar, style, cohesion, tone, or spelling. (March 2013)|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Faruk Aksoy|
|Produced by||Ayşe Germen|
|Written by||İrfan Saruhan|
|Music by||Benjamin Wallfisch|
|Studio||Aksoy film production|
|Distributed by||Tiglon Film
|Running time||160 minutes|
Fetih 1453 (English: The Conquest 1453) is a Turkish epic action film released in 2012. The story is based on the events surrounding Constantinople (later Istanbul)'s conquest by the Ottoman Turks during the reign of Sultan Mehmed II. It stars Devrim Evin as Mehmet II, İbrahim Çelikkol as Ulubatlı Hasan and Dilek Serbest as Era.
The story shifts abruptly to the 15th century. Sultan Mehmet had been given the throne by his father when he was 12, but learns of his father Murat II’s death while he was Sanjak of Saruhan. This causes him much grief and paves the way for his ascension of the throne once again, after the death of his brother Osman Volkan Erciyes. When Sultan Mehmet had first ascended the throne, he was 12 years old. Murat II, was suffocated from political hostility of his margraves and viziers, relinquished the throne by the impact of his deep grief because of his beloved son Alaaddin’s death and enthroned Mehmet. Grand Vizier Halil Pasha, who had a great influence on janissary and the state, was dissatisfied because of this situation. He was especially troubled with Sultan Mehmet’s indicating that Constantinople’s conquest is vitally essential. He made Sultan Murat inherit the throne again in consequence of the possibility of crusaders starting to occupy Ottoman territories by taking advantage of Mehmet. And Mehmet had suspended from the throne and sent to Sanjak of Saruhan.
Now, he succeed to the throne again and more powerful. His priority target was still the conquest of Constantinople. He was gaining inspiration from the words of Muhammad: “Constantinople will surely be conquered. What a blessed commander is its and what a blessed army is its army.”
He worked out everything that would take him to the target. At the outset, he should live in peace with contiguous countries until he made the preparations. He sent messengers to the Pontificate, to Hungarians, Serbians, Poles, Genoeses and Venetians and notified that he wants to live with peace. He restored Gallipoli dockyard and by courtesy of this, 100 galleys could be produced there in a year. Meanwhile the Roman Emperor Constantine was thinking that Sultan Mehmet was inexperienced and foresightless and demanding heavy appropriations by trying to use Prince Orhan who was captive of Constantine. Constantine’s main intention was Sultan Mehmet’s becoming disrespectable by capitulating. Furthermore, Sultan Mehmet was already capitulating and accepting his demands. But this was just the strategy of Sultan Mehmet.
As soon as the news of Karamans rebellion received, Ottoman armies set forth Akşehir. Karamanoğlu İbrahim didn’t expect such a mighty army. He had to demand peace. Sultan Mehmet accepted the peace because he didn’t want his armies receive wound. After the military expedition, on the way back a group of janissaries confronted the state tent to get tip although they have not battle. In response, Sultan Mehmet sent out enthronements, and also, he sent the jannisarry master Kurtçu Doğan who was a man of Grand Vizier Halil Pasha into exile by pleading deserted soldiers. With this incident, he properly gained dominion over his armies.
After he returned to Adrianople, he sent a messenger to Emperor Constantine and he declared that he would no longer send the subsidy he paid for Orhan. After that, he started to build the Boğazkesen (Rumelian) Fortress across the Anatolian Fortress. This meant actually to wage war against East-Roman Empire. Fetih 1453 also provides some insight into the war tactics used by the Ottoman Empire, not only representing an empire with access to the greatest technological weaponry at the time, but strategic insight into how the army should attack, retrieve and position themselves. This circumstance came to European states' attention too. But to help East-Roman Empire was almost impossible because of the war between French and English and German King’s dealing the fights for the throne. The Pope’s attempts remained inconclusive too.
On 29 May 1453, the Byzantine soldiers on the ramparts were overwhelmed against Sultan Mehmet and thousands of Turkish soldiers.
Historical Accuracy 
The film has been accused of not being historically accurate.
For instance, its portrayal of the last Byzantine emperor, Constantine XI, as a hedonist (he was mostly celibate); the city's magnificence (which was long gone, as it had been sacked by western crusaders in 1204); and the idea that Mehmet led some sort of crusading Islamic army. In reality, there were many Christian levies from the Balkans (even Orthodox Greeks) and the commander of one of his own armies was a former Christian, Zaganos Pasha.
The Byzantine Greeks are portrayed being too confident. In reality they had nothing to be confident about, because the Roman Empire at that point had been whittled to the city and its hinterlands, and the Despotate of the Morea. Not only did they not have the money or resources to adequately defend the city, but their actual manpower was also deficient (roughly 7-8,000 troops, almost half of which were foreigners, chiefly Italians from the Maritime Republics).
Grand Vizier Çandarlı Halil Pasha was executed on order of Mehmed II several months after the siege of Constantinople, which is not shown in the movie. The story of engineer Urban or Orban is irrelevant because Urban was never forced by the Byzantines to build a huge cannon for them (while they did retain him for a while, they did not have the money to pay for cannon) and he was not rescued by the Ottoman soldiers to be taken to sultan Mehmed II. Instead, Urban went himself and offered his services to the sultan after leaving Constantinople.
The gentle and gracious attitude of Sultan Mehmed towards the city's residents contradicts with historical accounts; while he showed mercy to several different groups and individuals, he still allowed the city to be totally ransacked for 3 days, as well as condoning the enslavement or murder of most of its inhabitants. Emperor Constantine's funeral is totally fictitious, the Ottoman soldiers beheaded what they supposed to be the Emperor's body and later sent the head around the Islamic world as a trophy. However, it is most commonly supposed today that the Emperor died fighting as a soldier and was never identified, and probably buried in a common grave with his soldiers.
Production and release 
The production costs of the film are not well-known. The film was produced over a period of three years and cost an estimated $17 million. Other sources claim that the actual cost of the film is US$ 8 million. A Turkish journalist Ali Eyuboglu asked budget to producer and producer claimed that they never stated any budget to press. In addition to this, another co-producer commented to Ali Eyuboglu that 4 million ticket will be afford expenses for the film. In Turkey profit to producer is estimated $2 per ticket, so the filmshould cost no more than $8 million. It is still the most expensive film in Turkish cinema history. The film trailer itself took one and a half months to complete and cost $600,000. The trailer was viewed by over 1.5 million people within 24 hours of its release. The size of the full cast was extensive; the film reportedly required the use of 16,000 extras.
Fetih 1453 was released in different countries on 16 February 2012, including United States, the United Kingdom, France, Egypt, United Arab Emirates, Kazakhstan, Georgia, Germany, the Netherlands, Macedonia, Russia, Azerbaijan, South Korea, Japan and several others. Universal Studios have expressed an interest in acquiring the distribution rights to the film.
|Actor name||Role name||Explanation|
|Devrim Evin||Mehmed II||The 7th Ottoman sultan who seeks to conquer Constantinople. Mehmed's childhood is played by Ege Uslu.|
|İbrahim Çelikkol||Ulubatlı Hasan||Mehmed's friend and mentor, leader of Ottoman cavalry corps. He martyres when placing Ottoman banner in the top of Walls of Constantinople with many arrows in his body.|
|Dilek Serbest||Era||Orban's adoptive daughter he has bought from a slave market in Constantinople. She has a romantic relationship with Hasan. Era's childhood is played by Algun Molla.|
|Recep Aktuğ||Emperor Constantine XI||The last Byzantine emperor. In this film, when he dies, Mehmed orders Byzantine noblemen to bury him in Christian tradition.|
|Cengiz Coşkun||Knight Giustiniani||Genoese general. Later he is killed in Hasan's hand.|
|Erden Alkan||Çandarlı Halil Pasha||Ottoman Grand Vizier serving under Murad II and Mehmed II. He always rejects all Mehmed's plan related to the conquest of Constantinople, and urges to live in peace with Byzantium.|
|Naci Adıgüzel||Grand Duke Notaras||The last Megas Doux of Constantinople. He shows strong opposition towards Constantine's intention to seek help from Vatican and Genoa.|
|Erdoğan Aydemir||Orban||A Hungarian master who initially proposes his sketch to Doge of Genoa, but the Doge hasn't interested in it. Orban refuses Notaras' demand to design a cannon for Byzantium. When Notaras' men attempts to arrest Orban for his refusal, Hasan saves him and Era, his adoptive daughter to Edirne. Orban later design the Great Bombard for Ottoman Empire which is used in the siege of Constantinople.|
|İlker Kurt||Murad II||The 6th Ottoman sultan, father of Mehmed II.|
|Sedat Mert||Zagan Pasha||An Ottoman military commander who is used to be an ardent advocate for the conquest of Constantinople. He often confronts with Halil Pasha urging to live in peace with Byzantine Empire.|
|Raif Hikmet Çam||Akşemseddin||One of Mehmed's tutors. He comes to Mehmed in the 40th day of the siege, and motivates the then-upset and frustrated Sultan with the discovery of Abu Ayyub Al Anshari's tomb near the Walls of Constantinople.|
|Namık Kemal Yıiğittürk||Molla Hüsrev||One of Mehmed's tutors inviting Akşemseddin to motivate the upset and frustrated Sultan in the 40th day of the siege.|
|Öner As||Molla Gürani||One of Mehmed's tutors inviting Akşemseddin to motivate the upset and frustrated Sultan in the 40th day of the siege.|
|Mustafa Atilla Kunt||Şahabettin Pasha||An Ottoman military commander and vizier. He is assigned by Sultan Mehmed II to make three furnaces. During the siege of Constantinople, he attacks the city from Tekfur Palace (Palace of the Porphyrogenitus) and Gate of Caligaria.|
|Özcan Aliser||Saruca Pasha||An Ottoman military commander and vizier.|
|Murat Sezal||İsa Pasha||An Ottoman military commander.|
|Faik Aksoy||Karaca Pasha||An Ottoman military commander. During the siege of Constantinople, he attacks the city from Gate of Charisius and Blachernae Palace (Ayvansaray).|
|Hüseyin Santur||Süleyman Pasha||An Ottoman admiral. During the siege of Constantinople, he attacks the city from the Golden Horn. He is banished by Mehmed after the failure to enter the Golden Horn.|
|Ali Rıza Soydan||Pope||An unnamed Pope of Vatican (the contemporary Pope in that time was Nicholas V).|
|Ali Ersin Yenar||Doge of Genoa||An unnamed Doge of Genoa who orders Giustiniani to command Genoese army after an assault towards Genoese freight in the Bosphorus (the contemporary Doge in that time was Pietro di Campofregoso).|
|İzzet Çivril||Cardinal Isidore||A cardinal who offers supports from Vatican to Byzantium.|
|Adnan Kürkçü||Gennadius Scholarius||An Orthodox theologian who strongly opposes the Emperor's plan to unite Eastern Orthodoxy with Roman Catholicism.|
|Şahika Koldemir||Gülbahar Hatun||Mehmed's wife, mother of Prince Bayezid.|
|Edip Tüfekçi||Prince Orhan||Pretender of the Ottoman throne who is an exile in Constantinople. During the siege of Constantinople, he is assigned to defend Port of Langa.|
|Aslan İzmirli||Karamanoğlu İbrahim||Bey of Karamanids provoked to rebel against Ottoman Empire by Constantine XI.|
|Yiğitcan Elmalı||Prince Bayezid||Mehmed II's son.|
|Oğuz Oktay||Osman I||The founder of Ottoman Empire, Mehmed's forefather. In this film, he is depicted to appear before Mehmed in Mehmed's dream. Osman tells Mehmed that he is the conqueror mentioned by Muhammad.|
|Tuncay Gençkalan||Abu Ayyub al-Ansari||One of Muhammad's sahaba depicted to retell Muhammad's word about the capture of Constantinople by a blessed army and commander. In his later life, he joins Muslim army to conquer Constantinople in 670s, but he dies in Constantinople and buried there.|
|Halis Bayraktaroğlu||Kurtçu Doğan||Leader of the Janissary.|
|Songül Kaya||Lady Emine||Halil Pasha's wife.|
|Hüseyin Özay||Ali the Blacksmith||Hasan's teacher.|
|Buminhan Dedecan||Mustafa||An Ottoman tunnel master.|
|Emrah Özdemir||Selim||An Ottoman tunnel foreman.|
|Yiğit Yarar||Hüseyin||An Ottoman soldier.|
|Hüseyin Bozdemir||Mahmud||Orban's assistant.|
|Recep Aktuğ||Osman Volkan Erciyes||The last brother of Mehmed. In this film, when he dies, Mehmed becomes ruler.|
The film was released on 15 February 2012 at 14:53 local time. It sold 1.4 million tickets on its first weekend and 2.23 million tickets in its first week of release. In 18 days, it surpassed Recep İvedik 2 to become the most watched film ever in Turkey. As of 13 May 2012, it has sold 6.468.777 tickets in Turkish cinemas.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan who watched a special advance screening liked the film very much. Prior to its release, the film caused outrage in Greece, with many accusing it of being racist and obscuring historical facts, while the Greek Proto Thema newspaper called it "a conquest propaganda by the Turks".
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