Fatma Girik, a beloved Turkish film actress of the 1960s and 1970s and former district mayor, has died. She was 79 years old.
Girik died Monday in an Istanbul hospital of multiple organ failure while being treated for pneumonia related to COVID-19, according to a statement from Liv Hospital.
Along with Turkan Soray, Filiz Akin and Hulya Kocyigit, Girik was considered one of the four most iconic actresses in the Turkish film industry known as “Yesilcam” – named after the street in Istanbul where film companies were based. She starred in some 180 films, often portraying strong and combative characters.
Girik was born in Istanbul on December 12, 1942. She began her career, at age 14, as an extra in Yesilcam films before landing her first big role in the 1957 film “Leke” or “Stain”.
Many of his films were directed by producer, director and screenwriter Memduh Un, who was his partner until his death in 2015.
In 1989, Girik was elected mayor of Istanbul’s Sisli district for the now defunct populist Social Democratic party. Girik held the position until 1994. In recent years, she has appeared in several Turkish television series.
Culture and Tourism Minister Mehmet Nuri Ersoy described Girik as one of the “most treasured names” in Turkish cinema who “left his mark” on Yesilcam.
A memorial service was scheduled for Tuesday in Sisli ahead of her burial in Bodrum, on Turkey’s Aegean coast, where she was based.