Gülşah Çeliker, a producer and director of Izmir, who made a name for himself with his documentary about Sabiha Gökçen, the world’s first female fighter pilot, traced the famous Turkish sailor Piri Reis for 10 years. Çeliker, who watched the documentaries of Captain Cousteau with his father as a child and devoted his life to drama documentaries, rolled up his sleeves for the Piri Reis documentary.
With the international documentary, Piri Reis’s relationship with the famous Explorer, Christopher Columbus, like himself, will be exposed to the legendary stories that remain hidden.
Star actors will take part in the documentary. Piri Reis will be played by famous actor Mehmet Günsür, and Christopher Columbus will be played by Italian actress Riccardo Scarmarcio.
A proposal will be sent to the famous actress Serenay Sarıkaya for Ester, the hero of Piri Reis’s love story that is not known on the ship. Speaking to the New Century, Çeliker said, ‘Mysterious Captain Piri Reis’
Çeliker said that there is only one reason to shoot the documentary ., “Christopher Columbus is taught abroad even in elementary schools. Piri Reis is as precious as we are but we do not know enough. I want the whole world to know” said.
What causes you to shoot a documentary?
I am from Izmir and did my graduate education in England on production.
While I was still reading, I listed which documentaries I would shoot in my head. When you stay abroad, you feel your national feelings more intensely. Who are the heroes of the country, you sit and research them. At least that’s what happened to me.
Many documentaries remain, but how is your understanding of documentary?
There are very few people who do archive research, or even none. There are those who do research in universities only for their doctoral thesis. No public works emerge with these. I am trying to make a public documentary that can be watched in cinemas.
SABİHA GÖKÇEN IS MY IDOL
Piri Reis is the first documentary after Sabiha Gökçen. They are both names that make history. Did you concentrate on them only because of these qualities?
My first project was Sabiha Gökçen. He was my childhood leader. For those women who could not drive at that time, someone driving a plane was a big idol. Piri Reis is a world hero for me. Because he made world maps. A scientist, a captain. A name that exists in hundred famous Turkish stories. I attended the International Piri Reis Symposium held in 2004. The documentary idea became clear there.
There are documentaries about Piri Reis, what will be the difference?
Yes, it is true, but they are documentaries shot on the map. The drama documentary I want to do. It will also reflect a historical period that compares to its scientific identity. It is a very special period. The age of discoveries. It is a period in which strengthening and conquering at sea is necessary and new sources of continents and raw materials are discovered and become a tool for the enrichment of countries. It even turns into a race between these countries. Maps are sold secretly. Countries enter the race of intelligence with each other. Piri Reis is one of their pioneers. She is a colleague with Marko Polo and Kristof Kolomb.
A HIDDEN LOVE STORY
What does the research of this documentary cover, what will the audience see?
It covers a deep search ranging from Topkapı Palace archives to secret Vatican archives, Venice, Genoa, Italy and Madrid, Salamanca, Spain, Lisbon and Portugal archives. Piri Reis’s uncle Kemal Reis, starting his maritime career, meeting with Christopher Columbus, a secret love story between travels, his works, world maps, His Book Bahriye (Mediterranean Atlas), the last Indian expedition and his unfair death. These are supported by the opinions of academicians. Even the 15th generation grandson of Christopher Columbus. Anunciada will include a meeting with Colon de Carvajal.
IS NOT ENOUGH TO VALUE
In this case, I think you are one of the best knowing Piri Reis, do you think we know him enough?
Here’s the documentary for this. I want to introduce his scientific identity, his vision to the world. I think he did not appreciate enough.
The most important scientist the Ottoman had raised. I will try to explain it with all its perspective. Including love. Kristof Kolomb is taught even in elementary schools abroad, Piri Reis is just as valuable but we do not know enough.
As a captain and cartographer who first drew map of America for the first time, I want to tell that Piri Reis printed his name in world history with golden letters.
Such a documentary will also have a budget. How are you at this point?
The Ministry of Culture and Tourism supports my project. A budget of around 400 thousand is needed, I provided 150 thousand of this with sponsors and my own resources. However, I am waiting for all kinds of support right now.
COLLABORATOR WITH THE COLOMB
What did you notice the most in your 10-year research, what did you discover about Piri Reis?
For example, I discovered the years in Italy. Piri Reis has lost years. In some periods, where and what he lost. I discovered it was in Italy, in Venice. There were too many patterns, unwanted people were declared when I worked, I discovered this.
I am looking for discovery in Spain, and even a professor teacher wrote an article for me. Christopher Columbus and Piri Reis have a common map teacher. It is said that that man came to Istanbul and worked. We can evaluate them like a scientist, I discovered them.