Netflix’s Chokehold: Is the Turkish Movie Based on Real People?

Directed by Onur Saylak, Netflix’s ‘Chokehold’ is a Turkish thriller movie that revolves around Yalin and Beyza, a young couple who move to a small village in order to make a fresh start. However, the couple soon discovers that the villagers are trying to harm them because of Yalin’s dark past. The film’s plot slowly unfolds as the sinister sides of its characters come to light. However, the crimes and murders in the movie make it reminiscent of a newspaper headline from a small town. Therefore, viewers must seek answers about the conceptualization of ‘Chokehold,’ where the narrative takes place, and whether the movie is actually inspired by a true story.

Netflix’s Chokehold is Fictional But Takes Place In a Real Town

No, ‘Chokehold’ is not based on a true story. The film is based on an original concept from writer Hakan Gunday and director Onur Saylak. It marks the second collaboration between the writer and the director. In the film, there is no hint of the story drawing inspiration from reality. However, its premise itself seems ripped from newspaper headlines as a couple finds themselves in danger after relocating to a small village. Furthermore, the makers have not confirmed whether the movie is based on real incidents. Hence, it is safe to assume that the movie tells a fictional story.

In the movie, the protagonist – Yalin – is a businessman who runs a Ponzi scheme and embezzles money from his investors. Yalin’s quest to escape the consequences of his actions leads him to the small village where his life is constantly threatened. While there is no instance of a businessman with the same name committing millions of dollars of fraud, Yalin’s character was likely inspired by different businessmen who indulge in fraudulent activities.

The movie deals with the theme of greed, giving its narrative a universal value. Furthermore, the movie also explores to what extent a character can go to cover up their crimes and escape the repercussions of their morally incorrect actions. It conveys its primary themes through metaphors and motifs of hunting and wilderness, adding a layer of subtext to the story. However, ‘Chokehold’ is mainly a fictional story that explores the intersection between greed and human survival instincts, giving it some semblance of reality.

Where Does Chokehold Take Place?

In ‘Chokehold,’ Yalin and his wife are residents of Istanbul, Turkey, who relocate after Yalin gets caught up in a nationwide scandal. As a result, he and his wife return to Yalin’s hometown, a small village on the Aegean. However, the name of the village in which the movie takes place is not explicitly stated on the screen. Nonetheless, some clever clues lead us to deduce that the movie is set in Assos, an ancient Greek city, also known as the present-day Behramkale. However, the village is mostly referred to by its ancient name, even in the modern era.

During one scene in the film, a friend of Yalin narrates the story of Hermias, the ruler of Assos, inviting the Greek philosopher Aristotle to the village, seemingly confirming that the movie takes place in Assos. Formerly known as Apollonia, the village is located in the Ayvacık district of Turkey’s Çanakkale province. It holds deep cultural and historical importance in Turkey, especially because of its connections to Aristotle. Thus, the location not only adds aesthetic value to the movie but also provides viewers with cultural context. Assos is primarily known as a tourist destination, and local attractions include the Temple of Athens, an ancient gymnasium, an ancient theater, and beautifully carved city walls.

Read More: Where Was Netflix’s Chokehold Filmed?