Colors of Turkey

Festival Program

Contemporary Turkish Documentaries

Türk Kizi, Gök Kizi, Atatürk Kizi: Sabiha Gökçen
Directed by Ali Akyüz
2003, 52 minutes
In English
Co-presented with the Harvard Film Archive
Friday, November 25, 2005 at 7:00pm
Harvard Film Archive
Main Auditorium
Carpenter Center for the Arts 
(Screened with Life on their Shoulders)


Sabiha Gökçen was the world's first female combat pilot, yet the story of this extraordinary Turkish woman is relatively unknown in the United States . The Legendary Girl of The Skies incorporates rare archival footage and interviews to recount her amazing life story and accomplishments in aviation history. The adopted daughter of Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the Republic of Turkey , Gökçen was born in 1914. Her childhood coincided with the dawn of aviation, the spectacular age when airplanes began to dominate the skies and command the battlefields. After completing aviation school, she became a combat pilot at the young age of 23, on the eve of the Second World War. Her skills and bravery during the war earned her numerous international awards and recognition. Gökçen retired from active flying in 1964 and died in Ankara in 2001. Istanbul 's second international airport is named in her honor.


Director ALI AKYUZ :

Ali Akyüz graduated from Istanbul University, Faculty of Communications, Department of Radio-Television and Cinema. He began working in the cinema industry in 1990. He started his career as a director in 1993. He worked as freelance director for Studio Gama, Filma, First Digital, ATV, BirTV. His freelance work has taken him to Argentina, Brazil, Russia, United States, Yugoslavia, Greece, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, France, England and Germany.

Selected Filmography:
Legendary Girl of the Skies: Sabiha Gökçen (2003)
The Evil Eye Bead (Nazar Boncugu, 2003)