15 Famous Movies That Have Scenes In Istanbul

Istanbul has always been a favorite place for foreign producers and directors with its historical sense, streets, and atmosphere. This city, which adds grace to the white screen, took place in hundreds of productions. Here are 15 world famous foreign films that attract a great deal of attention and have passed from Istanbul.

The International- 2009

The Manhattan District attorney, Eleanor Whitman and Interpol Agent Lois Salinger want to bring justice to the world’s most powerful bank. During this mission, they uncover the bank’s illegal activities such as arms trafficking and money laundering. In consideration of their investigation, Whitman and Salinger go to Berlin, Milan, New York, and Istanbul. For a short time, it is also possible to see Haluk Bilginer in the film.

The Water Diviner- 2014

water diviner

The Water Diviner directed by Russel Crowe, starring Russell Crowe, Olga Kurylenko, and Yilmaz Erdogan. The film tells the story of an Australian farmer, Joshua Connor (Crowe), who travels to Turkey soon after World War I to find his three sons, who never returned.

Argo – 2012


Argo is a 2012 American historical drama film directed by Ben Affleck. During the Iranian revolution, the militants took 60 Americans as a hostage at the American Embassy, but six avoid capture and are sheltered in the home of the Canadian ambassador. CIA expert Tony Mendez prepared a plan to save these 6 Americans. In the film, you will be able to see the footage of the Zuhuratbaba District located in Bakirkoy, the Grand Bazaar, and Hagia Sophia.

From Russia With Love- 1963

rusyadan sevgilerle

From Russia with Love is a 1963 British spy film and the second in the James Bond film series directed by Terence Young. James Bond, Sean Connery is coming to Istanbul to capture the encryption device called Lektor. But it turns out that this mission is a plan of Bond’s enemy, S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Some parts of the film took place in Istanbul and also some of the characters were Turkish. It is also possible to see the famous train of that era, the Orient Express.

Taken, II- 2012

Taken II is a 2012 English-language French action thriller film directed by Olivier Megaton. Taken II translated into Turkish as “Takip: Istanbul.” In the center of the film, there is a kidnapping incident as it was in Taken I. One of the protagonists of the film is of course Istanbul.

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy- 2011

“Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy” directed by Tomas Alfredson in 2012, is translated into Turkish as “Köstebek.” Featuring actors such as Gary Oldman, Mark Strong, and John Hurt, the film features a British spy tries to win back his reputation by solving a betrayal story from Budapest to Istanbul.

Inferno- 2016

Adapted from Dan Brown’s famous novel, Inferno, features Tom Hanks, Felicity Jones, and Ben Foster. After waking up in a hotel room in Venice, Robert Langdon doesn’t remember how he got there. Langdon starts to travel throughout Europe to find out the answers and tries to save the world from a possible catastrophe. Of course, many scenes are also in Istanbul.

Hitman- 2007

The movie adaptation of the computer game Hitman’s director is Xavier Gens. In the 2007 film, Agent 47 is trapped and chasing down those who trapped him in Eastern Europe. The movie also has scenes from Istanbul.

The Two Faces of January – 2014

In the 2014 Movie, directed by Hossein Amini, is based on Patricia Highsmith’s 1964 novel and stars Viggo Mortensen, Kirsten Dunst, and Oscar Isaac. The movie is telling the story of scammers in the 1960’s. The film takes place in Athens, Crete and of course in Istanbul.

Skyfall- 2012


One of the most prominent movies which filmed in Istanbul is Skyfall. The series won several accolades, including two Academy Awards, two BAFTA Awards and two Grammy Awards this time sets in England, China and Istanbul.

A Touch of Spice- 2003

The film, directed by Tassos Boulmetis, tells the story of a Greek man, who spent his childhood in Istanbul, returning to the city after 35 years. In the Turkish-Greek co-production, it is possible to see actors like Tamer Karadağlı.

Murder On The Orient Express- 1974

Murder On The Orient Express

“Murder On The Orient Express,” based on Agatha Christie’s novel of the same name, takes place in the 1930s. The film is about a murder that took place in the Orient Express, during an expedition from Istanbul to Paris.

America, America- 1963

“America, America” is a 1963 American dramatic film directed, produced and written by Elia Kazan, adapted from his own book. The film examines the challenges of Greek immigrants living in Anatolia in the late 19th century. Elia Kazan’s family is giving their wealth to Elia and sending him to Istanbul. His parents think Elia is going to bring them with him when he starts earning money. The family does not know that Elia’s dream is to go to America. In the 1963 movie, you can follow the story of a journey from Kayseri to America.

The Accidental Spy- 2001

The Hong Kong-made action movie “The Accidental Spy,” in Turkish meaning “Altın Yumruk,” which was shot in Istanbul in 2001, has plenty of Istanbul in it.

You Can’t Win ‘Em All- 1970

You Can’t Win ‘Em All is a 1970 war film, written by Leo Gordon and directed by Peter Collinson, telling stories of two American soldiers’ adventures in Turkey and their weapon smuggling actions during the Turkish War of Independence. Although the film has a little bit corrupted fiction for those who know about Turkey and Istanbul, is amongst the best productions.


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