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Special Stops of Gökçe Bahadır’s Acting Journey

Blog
Special Stops of Gökçe Bahadır’s Acting Journey

26.03.2024

Text: Eylül Ege - Illustration: Naz Tansel

Special Stops of Gökçe Bahadır’s Acting Journey

Akbank Short Film Festival, celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, will feature Gökçe Bahadır, one of the jury members, as a guest for the traditional “On Acting” talks of the festival. She will share her industry experiences, perspectives on short films, and thoughts on acting with the participants. On this occasion, we have outlined a route of special milestones in Gökçe Bahadır’s acting journey.

Gökçe Bahadır, born and raised in Istanbul, set her sights on being on screens during her high school years. She then received education in radio-television at the Academy Istanbul and in acting at Müjdat Gezen Art Center. During this period, Bahadır started her career as an anchor on platforms like Fenerbahçe FM, Best TV, and Show TV. She also hosted a children’s program called Jojo, which aired on Digiturk.

Her first appearance as an actress was in the 2002 production Beşik Kertmesi (Betrothed in Cradle), which brought together leading actors Meltem Cumbul and Olgun Şimşek. After guest-starring in an episode of this series, it was time for a period phenomenon that made her nationally recognized: Hayat Bilgisi (Life Science). The year was 2003; Gökçe Bahadır appeared as Yeliz, nicknamed Törpü, one of the most colorful characters in the world of Afet Öğretmen, portrayed by Perran Kutman, and her students.

Bahadır’s journey of Hayat Bilgisi, which lasted for more than two years and consisted of 100 episodes, is followed by another iconic production of Turkish television, Yaprak Dökümü (The Fall of Leaves). Adapted from Reşat Nuri Güntekin’s novel of the same name, the series depicts the migration of idealistic district governor Ali Rıza Bey, his wife Hayriye Hanım, and their children to Istanbul. This time, Gökçe Bahadır takes on the role of Leyla, the eldest daughter of the family whose disintegration we witness day by day.

After completing its five seasons and concluding with a finale, her performance in Yaprak Dökümü led her to appear in the 2011 film My Grandfather’s People, which focuses on the trauma of migration, directed by Çağan Irmak, who had previously directed Çemberimde Gül Oya (The Rose and the Thorn) at the same mansion. In 2012, Gökçe Bahadır’s gallery of characters portraying resilient and fighter women expanded with her role as Aysel, a sex worker living in the back streets of Beyoğlu, in the series Kayıp Şehir (Lost City). That same year, we also saw her in Miray Kuyumcu’s award-winning short film Çember (The Circle), which addresses the unstoppable femicides.

Ufak Tefek Cinayetler (Little Bitty Murders) which revolves around the power struggle ignited by the reunion of four women whose relationship date back to their high school days, became one of the locomotive series of television between 2017 and 2018, bringing together leading actresses Tülin Özen, Aslıhan Gürbüz, Bade İşçil, and Gökçe Bahadır. Following this, we witness a musical endeavor just before the pandemic. A recording of Gökçe Bahadır’s rendition of the Ajda Pekkan classic “Sana Doğru” (Towards You) with an accompanying music video takes its place on digital platforms in 2019.

One of the distinctive pieces of Gökçe Bahadır’s filmography is Kendi Yolumda (On My Way) directed by Ömer Faruk Sorak, which tells the story based on a daytime dream experienced by Gökhan Özoğuz, the lead singer of Athena, during his visit to Adana. Now, let’s move on to one of the most exciting stops: Kulüp (The Club). Set in 1950s Beyoğlu, the series delves into the cultural, historical, and political past of Sephardic Jews. Kulüp is not only the first time we saw Gökçe Bahadır on a digital platform, but also offers a nuanced exploration of mother-daughter relationships through Matilda, a character Gökçe Bahadır has described as one of her most challenging roles.

Currently, Gökçe Bahadır, who shares the lead roles with Selahattin Paşalı in the series Ömer, which depicts one of the prevalent conservative-secular conflict narratives of recent times, continues her music journey with a concert series featuring new acoustic arrangements of songs from the 70s to the present, performed with Emir Ersoy and his orchestra.

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