With the hope of deepening the understanding and friendship between people in Turkey and China, Turkish movie director Mustafa Altioklar will launch later this month his new documentary film on the two countries' cultures.
The film, "The Secret of Signs", aims to "remind Turkish people of the similarities between Turkish and Chinese cultures both dating back thousands of years," the 54-year-old director said Wednesday in an interview with Xinhua in his Istanbul office.
Altioklar, who has just come back from China after a week of work for the film, said Turkey and China have cultural similarities because Turks' ancestors have their root in China.
Shot in the Chinese cities of Beijing and Shanghai last month, the film is meant to explore the historical relations between Turkey and China, and to display the links between philosophies of China's Confucius and Turkey's Rumi, both great thinkers of their time.
"Once we have been neighbors, both sides have influenced each other. There are many cultural aspects that Turkey has taken from China. We have carried some of those to Anatolia and in the movie we have been tracing the signs of those common attributes," Altioklar said.
"Chinese people are very peaceful. They love peace and live in peace. This is what Confucianism is all about," Altioklar said.
"Turkey's poet and theologian Rumi share very similar believes and principles with Confucius, although they live in different eras. They both insisted on the importance of love and peace," he added.
Altioklar said currently people of the two countries do not know much about each other's culture. "However, as we have started to shoot the movie in Beijing and in Shanghai, we have realized that Turkish and Chinese have many common attitudes, ideas and styles. Both Turkish and Chinese people are practicing traditional virtues such like being graceful and saluting each other," he said.
Taking the popularity of tea and teahouses in both countries as an example, the director stressed the cultural similarities.
In his movie Altioklar also focused on traces that are common in both cultures, such as shadow play, Chinese porcelain, marbling art and calligraphy.
China has a deep-rooted and vibrant culture and there is no film in Turkey yet to tell the story of this huge heritage. "We have to make at least 100 episodes to tell its story in its entirety. I only took the first step."
Talking about his next plan, Altioklar said he is going to shoot a new movie based on a love story in both Turkey and China. "I believe that with this love story, people in two countries will look each other from another perspective."
"A love story could easily bring people together. Everyone will start to see each other with a different eye," he said.