Produced by COMPULSORY, Handsome, Halal Pictures Producers: Chris Toumazou, Melodie Saba
Directed by Emmanuel Adjei Written by Marleen Özgür, Emmanuel Adjei Director of Photography: Paul Özgür
Running time: 6 minutes
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The Legend of the Shahmaran
The Shahmaran is a mythical creature, half snake and half woman. The first human she encounters is a young man named Camasb who gets stuck in her cave after he tries to steal honey. Exploring the cave, he finds a passage to a chamber that holds a beautiful garden with thousands of snakes living with the Shahmaran. Over time, the Shahmaran and Camasb fall in love, and the Shahmaran teaches him about medicinal herbs. Camasb misses living above ground and wants to leave, so he tells the Shahmaran he will not share the secret of her living there. Many years pass.
The king of the town of Tarsus becomes ill and the vizier discovers the treatment of his condition requires the Shahmaran flesh. Camasb tells the people where Shahmaran lives. Shahmaran says, “blanch me in an earthen dish, give my extract to the vizier, and feed my flesh to the sultan.” They bring her to the town and kill her in a bath called, “Şahmaran Hamam”. The king eats her flesh and lives, the vizier drinks the extract and dies. Camasb drinks the water of Shahmaran, thereby gaining her wisdom, and becomes a healer.
Due to its antiquity, there are many variations of the same story.
Since c. 2016, LGBTQ supporters in Turkey have been using the image of Shahmaran as symbol of supporting LGBTQ issues.