April 22, 2012

Bond Filming Leaves Istanbul Merchants with Mixed Feelings


Merchants at the Grand Bazaar are left with mixed feelings after the shooting of several scenes for the upcoming James Bond movie “Skyfall” at the site, uncertain whether the benefits will outweigh the costs.

Shooting took place at various locations on the historical peninsula, including Eminönü and the 15th century Grand Bazaar (Kapalı Çarşı). Producers paid 150 store owners in Eminönü between TL 1,000 and TL 3,000 and street traders about TL 200 per day, according to estimates on their average daily earnings provided by the Fatih Municipality in order to avoid any possible abuse on either side over the issue of payment. The producers also asked the owners of shops along a couple of streets of the Grand Bazaar to open their stores on Sunday, a day the bazaar is closed, for the shooting of certain scenes. There were 130 stores open that day, and each received payment of TL 350. Total payments to shopkeepers amounted to around TL 3 million.

Many shop owners at the bazaar were excited such a high-profile movie would be filmed at their place of work, expecting it to attract many more tourists to İstanbul and the bazaar in addition to providing short term employment to those who would take part in the production. A shop owner told Sundays Zaman on Thursday, “We are very glad the production of such movie is taking place here, introducing our culture to the world and bringing more visitors here.” Another said, “I would have come on Sunday to contribute to the production if it wasn’t the Easter holiday.”

However, some shop owners have criticized the decision to allow the production to be filmed place at such a prominent historical location for the possible damage it could cause and were also hesitant about how Turkey would be portrayed in the movie.

Read more on Zaman: Bond Filming Leaves Istanbul Merchants with Mixed Feelings

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