The Realm of the Ugly King

Reuben Silverman

 

YG3

On a September evening in 1974, Yılmaz Pütün was arrested for murdering a local judge at a seaside Turkish casino. An argument between Pütün’s table and the judge’s had quickly escalated to the point where Pütün had pulled out a gun and demanded everyone sit back down. When the judge confronted Pütün, demanding the gun, Pütün knocked him down. According to witnesses, the judge grabbed a chair and approached again. At this point Pütün shot him. Nearly two years later, when the trial finally concluded, Pütün was found guilty and sentenced to nineteen years in prison. Appearing in court, Pütün was often greeted by cheering crowds.[1]

Few, if any, of these supporters were cheering for Yılmaz Pütün, a thirty-seven year old native of Adana, however; they were applauding Yılmaz Güney, “The Ugly King,” one of Turkey’s most popular actors. Already famous internationally, Güney’s notoriety would grow in the…

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