Ayastefanos'taki Rus Abidesinin Yıkılışı (lost Turkish documentary film; existence unconfirmed; 1914)

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San Stefano 5.jpeg

Postcard photo of the Russian monument before it's demolition.

Status: Existence Unconfirmed

Ayastefanos'taki Rus Abidesinin Yıkılışı (English: Demolition of the Russian Monument at San Stefano) was a supposed Turkish documentary film directed by Fuat Uzkınay and produced by the Ottoman Empire's military that released on November 14th, 1914. It's widely considered to be the first Turkish film ever made.

The film showed the demolition of the Russian monument in San Stefano (now Yeşilköy, Istanbul) by Turkish troops after both the Ottoman and Russian empires declared war on each other 3 months after the start of World War 1. The monument was erected in 1898 to commemorate Russia's victory and the soldiers that died during the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-1878.[1]


No footage of the film has resurface and only a few photos of the monument before and after demolition currently exists. According to rumors, the last known copy of the film went missing around 1941. Theirs been some speculation by historians that the film was a hoax and the event was never recorded in the first place. One theory being that the demolition was not planned in advance (despite there being photos of it), another theory that Fuat Efendi didn't know how to operate the camera and pretended to record the event to not anger his superiors and the third being the film ended up getting lost or stolen after it was made.[2]


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