Vol.13, No.1 | [Article] A Cultural Analysis of Turkic Folk Beliefs and Turkish Horror Movies



The present article focusses on the representation of Turkic folk elements
in contemporary Turkish society. It can be argued that folklore underlies a
nation’s unconscious psyche because it is passed down - often unconsciously -
from generation to generation. Therefore, the study of folk beliefs may
provide a better understanding of a people’s identity and other cultural traits.
In order to ascertain the role of Turkic folk motifs, Turkish horror movies have
been chosen as media for the analysis. These movies appear suitable for this
research because they deal with the underlying human feeling of fear.
Moreover, horror movies offer an opportunity for examining the
representation of faith and its transformations in modern societies.
In the present study five Turkish horror movies released from 2004 to
2017 are examined in detail. As a result it can be stated that the analyzed
horror movies provide indeed interesting references to Turkish folk motifs and
how these motifs are reflected in contemporary Turkish society. They allow
for understanding changes of perceptions of the role of traditional and modern
women, the opposition of the urban and rural, pre-Islamic beliefs, exorcism
rituals, amulets, death, and resurrection.