One of fixtures of Sunday morning celebrity gossip shows, Banu Alkan, like so many Turkish stars, sometimes seems to have been around forever. Banu, (or Afrodit, as she is sometimes called) is a blond Rubenesque type and somehow manages to get her face- along with the rest of her- on television for the most improbable reasons.
Born April 1, 1958 in the city of Dubrovnik, Banu was third of six children of a poor carpenter. Her family emigrated to the town of Balikesir, Turkey in December of 1966, where the family name was changed from Rebronja to Alkan, meaning "wild rose." Later her family moved to Istanbul, residing in the Kartal district. Banu attended Maltepe Kartal high school but dropped out for modeling. At 16, Banu began working for a modeling agency in Istanbul and one year later, she became the mistress of Gurbuz Hanif, a wealthy, elderly and married businessman. This relationship lasted 20 years, until his death of cancer. In her career, she starred in 24 films, in three TV series and made one album.
One of her hits in the early 90s,"Neremi? "( which roughly translates into "Which part of me?") was sung in her usual breathless style while she pointed to various areas of her body. Here is a recent sample of her singing.
Unfortunately, most of her films were unforgettably bad and exploitative of women in the worst way. Borderline porn with a tissue-paper thin story lines, lurid camera angles, dubbed voices in unconvincing dialog and clothes that would make a belly-dancer blush. I have included a video clip below which I think captures the general style of film-making you can expect from all Banu Alkan films.
Unlike so many female Turkish stars of the 70s and 80s, Banu never quite triumphed over her buxom "sex kitten" image to become a strong and independent female character, like Türkan Şoray or Fatma Girik. Possibly the worst that can be said is that Banu, with an absolute minimum of talent, found a way to exploit herself -which some people think is a sign of her intelligence. I am unconvinced.