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Gözetleme Kulesi

Nihat works in an isolated watchtower and looks day in and day out for forest fires. University student Seher takes a job as a bus attendant in the countryside. Both seek isolation and carry a secret.


“I wrote great poems as a student,” the bus driver (Kadir Cermik) tells the protagonist Seher (Nilay Erdonmez), a young woman who accompanies him on a long-distance trip across the breathtaking landscape of northern Turkey. Seher replies thoughtfully that, “when you’re a student you write poems,” and the driver knowingly adds: “And then… life.” WATCHTOWER tells the story of two people running away from something. Seher is a young university student who takes a job as a tour hostess in a provincial town to hide from her family. Nihat (Olgun Simsek) freely takes a job as a fire warden and lives in a remote watchtower in the middle of the forest. His relationship to the outside world is restricted to the one sentence he calls in daily on his walkie-talkie: “Situation normal.” Yet there is nothing normal about his behaviour. He is a damaged soul who punishing himself for what he sees as an unforgiveable deed. Director Pelin Esmer presents a melodrama involving two people who seem to be trapped in a bubble, visible yet untouchable; and both tormented characters are hiding behind their respective jobs trying to forget. That’s why it’s no surprise that Seher and Nihat feel a connection when they meet for the first time, and eventually find emotional solace in each other’s company. In WATCHTOWER Esmer tells a story about the loss of innocence, the pain of remembering, and the end of poetry.

Jens Mayer


Original title: Gözetleme Kulesi
Türkei/Deutschland 2013, 96 min
Genre: Drama
Director: Pelin Esmer
Author: Pelin Esmer
DOP: Eken Ozgur
Montage: Ayhan Ergürsel
Distributor: AF-Media
Cast: Olgun Simsek, Nilay Erdonmez, Laçin Ceylan, Menderes Samancilar, Riza Akin
FSK: 12
Release: 17.04.2014




  • OV Original version
  • OmU Original with German subtitles
  • OmeU Original with English subtitles

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