Fehmi started his career in “Cahide” which is Turkey’s biggest cabaret club. After Cahide, he started working in Show Tv. His show was featured Turkey’s one of the successful talk show-Today with Saba Tümer in the daytime television. Then, this season he’s in another daytime show MELEK on Star TV with more visibility. He will be in a new sitcom with his script-writer/director Alper Alpözgen.
He’s the youngest cross-dresser/comedian of Turkey and the most successful one after Seyfi Dursunoğlu (AKA Huysuz Virjin-Cranky Virgin) who’s one of the biggest ancestor of Turkey’s TV and show history.
Fehmi dresses like a woman as the character named Azize and wanders in the most crowded streets in İstanbul for his madly funny interviews with nasty questions.
In my opinion, Fehmi makes a big contribution to LGBT visibility in Turkey.
We’ve talked with Fehmi about “imitating to be a woman” in a conservative country like Turkey even for a sketch show.
-You are a cross-dresser in the broad daylight of İstanbul and asking people questions, mostly the bold ones. Do you ever fear to be a harrased? Were there any incidents?
No, not big ones. But some people make a pass at me of course. Dirty words i mean. But these are the ones that does’nt know what i am doing at that moment. This is a television show and i am dressed as a character. If he would know that –and understand it- it’s impossible for him to tell me that bad words. One day, i am gonna pass the microphone to that kind of guys, not passing to his mouth of course!
Other than that, i have many fans including women and also conservative people. We are usually forced to stop shooting because of their attention.
-Your show is a comedy sketch show but you also criticise politicians and make statements about social events.
Yes i do. Because you have to be involved. If you are a comedian, an artist, you have to be involved. There’s no way that i can be silent about this. Humour became impolitical in our country due to the pressure of the competence. I think this is very wrong.
-You are a “woman” for your job but can you say it’s hard to be a woman?
Yes. Really hard. I don’t need to mention the verbal harrasment. Always being well-dressed, make-up on is also exhausting. People are expecting you to be well-behaved as an ideal woman. When i am in a female costume, sometimes, i sit like a man with my legs wide open, people don’t appreciate that. Sometimes, men try to take a sneak peek of my underskirt. He wouldn’t find the “thing” he were looking for,of course!
-Our prime minister criticises TV series sometimes. As we know “Huysuz Virjin (an old cross-dresser/showman) was pressurized by the RTÜK (Turkish TV-Radio Regulations Association) . Did you ever get this kind of reaction?
Not yet. But we’ve all heard some sentences like “We don’t want to see male performers dressed as a female” by the former president of RTÜK for Huysuz Virjin. We’ve all witnessed that period. It’s possible that they can react me this way also but i am not afraid.
(You can read the “Huysuz Virjin Incident” from The Economist’s article here)
-Which foreign actor/actress do you like and want to take a part in his/her movie?
Meryl Streep. I adore her. She was absolutely fantastic in the IRON LADY. I call that an “impression”. A great performance as Margaret Thatcher.
-What’s your “dream Project”? What do you wanna do if anything is possible?
I definetly want to make a cabaret show. A cabaret show based on me and my characters. But you have to plan every detail. It’s nothing like crashing some singer’s stage show and make impressions.
Thanks to Fehmi for this interview.
Wanna see some of Fehmi’s work?
Unfortunately the videos are in Turkish, but u can feel free to find them funny 🙂
Fehmi’s sketch show:DON’T HOLD AZİZE DOWN (As you can see AZİZE is famous for asking questions in Turkish to foreigners, even if they don’t understand a single word)
Fehmi’s another sketch show:HEMŞİRELER-NURSES. Fehmi plays all the woman characters in this show.