7 May 2018 Share


  Assoc. Prof. Dilek Kaya, Lecturer at Yaşar University Faculty of Communication, bought letters dating back to the early 1970s for 5 Turkish liras at a junk market in 2016.

  Finding out that the letters belonged to Kazım Küçükalp, who died because of a mountaineering accident at the age of 19, and impressed by his story, Assoc. Prof. Kaya delivered Küçükalp’s letters to their recipients and his brother and his mountaineering friends. Kaya told Küçükalp’s story in a documentary as she believed that “This life is in debt to him.” 

Kaya expressed that Küçükalp and his letters, experiences and his life took her to a meaningful journey.

Saying that she visited the house that Küçükalp lived in and contacted his friends, his brother and nephew by tracing the names mentioned in the letters, Kaya also said:

“We completed the shooting of the documentary in two years in İzmir, Ankara, İstanbul and Artvin. We interviewed the villagers who saw Kazım before he’d gone for climbing and who took part in the rescue operation in Artvin. We held interviews with a total number of 27 individuals. I had many of my friends and students who accompanied me throughout this process with all their knowledge and skills as well as their hearts. I met many nice people. We re-built Kazım’s story together with them while also reflecting upon the Turkey in the 70s and the way the then  youth culture expressed itself, and tried to remember it. I tried to do something for him. It didn’t make any sense to me that the life of a young beautiful man came to an end when he was just 19. So, I was convinced that life had a debt to him, and I decided to pay off this debt as much as I could, which was all I could do.”

His family watched

Küçükalp’s brother  Attila Küçükalp, his nephew Burak Kazım Küçükalp and his friends from Ankara Science High School and from Hacettepe Üniversitesi Faculty of Medicine attended the movie premier at Yaşar University.


 At the 10th TRT Documentary Awards, the documentary “Kâzım” won the Republic of Turkey Ministry of Culture and Tourism Award in the National Professional Category.