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