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Turkey’s Top Export? Comedy

If you take a look at the CIA World Fact book, you'll see that Turkey's top exports include apparel, foodstuffs, textiles, metal manufactures, and transport equipment. What the United States government doesn't know, or doesn't want you to know, is that Turkey tops the world in a commodity not listed here: comedies. In our ongoing quest to discover the greatest comedies of all time, I decided to take a look at what IMDB had to say. IMDB does have an official list of the top 50 comedies, but I wanted more. Many lists include 100 movies, so I went to the Advanced Search and searched for all movies in the genre "comedy", with at least 1000 votes, excluding TV movies, TV shows, and direct-to-video releases. The first thing I noticed is that IMDB's search is broken, apparently "ignore TV series" really means "litter the results with lots of TV series." The next thing I noticed is something even the CIA couldn't discover: Turkish dominance of the top 3 comedies of all time. At number 1, with a rating of 9.2, is Babam Ve Oglum (2005), also known as My Father and My Son. At number 2, with an 8.9 rating, is Tosun Pasa (1976), with Hababam sinifi (1975) just a notch below at 8.8. The Turkish dominance is finally interrupted by Dr. Strangelove (1964) at the number 4 spot. I have never seen any of these films, or any Turkish comedies for that matter. But these aren't just simple flukes - they each have more than 1000 votes, and it's hard to see why they are not included in the official top 50. What makes these films so funny? Let's take a look as a memorable quote from Tosun Pasa:
Saban: [Scared] Who are you? Real Tosun Pasha: Ibrahim Pasha from Cairo is in your order, Sir! Saban: [Seriously] Who made you a pasha, sir? Real Tosun Pasha: It was with your order, Pasha! Saban: So I made you a pasha, Mr. Ibrahim? Real Tosun Pasha: Yes, Pasha! Saban: [Mockingly] Hey Ibrahim, are you Seferoglus' pasha? Real Tosun Pasha: Sorry, you lost me, sir. Saban: [Laughs] Come on Ibo, you can't fool me!
Ha ha ha heh... heh... Hmm. Perhaps there is a cultural divide. You see, pasha is a title granted within the Ottoman Empire. It was an honorific originally limited to military commanders but later used for civilians as well. Pashas rank above beys and Aghas but below khedives and viziers. There have been a number of important Pashas, for example Ibrahim Pasha of Egypt put down a rebellion of Wahhabis in Arabia and later fought in the Greek War of Independence. He was the adopted son of Muhamad Ali, though few people know that since it was left out of the film. Let's take a look at the plot summary for Babam Ve Oglum:
Sadik is one of the rebellious youth who has been politically active as a university student and became a left-wing journalist in the 70's, despite his father's expectations of him becoming an agricultural engineer and taking control of their family farm in an Aegean village. On the dawn of September 12, 1980, when a merciless military coup hits the country, they cannot find access to any hospital or a doctor and his wife dies while giving birth to their only child, Deniz. After a long-lasting period of torture, trials, and jail time, Sadik returns to his village with 7-8 years old Deniz, knowing that it will be hard to correct things with his father, Huseyin. (source)
Now that sounds funny. I can only imagine the death-during-childbirth scene takes place in fast-motion with a "Benny Hill" soundtrack, much like the examples Mr. Wallz has uncovered. I kid. Actually, all three of these movies sound pretty interesting, and if I ever finish my thesis, I'll try tracking them down. I do have to suspect, though, that their high ranking is due in part to a small, but sizable Turkish minority on IMDB who very passionately love their domestic film industry. Has anyone seen any of these three? Any Turks or Cypriots out there care to clue me in? I'd like to know: what's so funny about Turkey? [youtube]vsQrKZcYtqg[/youtube]