In April we welcomed the celebrated British actor and activist Sir Ian McKellen on his first visit to Istanbul. We made a film of the highlights of his visit. Watch the video by clicking the play above.

Sir Ian McKellen visited Turkey in celebration of the arts and equality.

British Council welcomed Sir Ian McKellen for the first time in Turkey for a series of events in arts and equality.

One of the most beloved actors of the screen and theatre with his outstanding performances in Richard III, Gods and Monsters, Lord of the Rings series and X-Men, Sir Ian McKellen has also been the ambassador of British Council’s Shakespeare Lives programme in 2016.

Sir Ian McKellen was the guest of Istanbul Film Festival by IKSV and received a cinema honorary award. He gave a speech about his life of acting and activism which was presented in partnership with Istanbul Theatre Festival and Zorlu PSM. 

Sir Ian also met LGBT groups to support equality


The full programme of Sir Ian McKellen’s Turkey visit:

4 April   Presentation of Cinema Honorary Award by the Istanbul Film Festival

5 April   An International Stage  Sir Ian McKellen in conversation with Gregory Nash, Director Arts, Wider Europe, British Council  -  Please watch the Facebook live video here and take a look at our album for the event photos

6 April   Stage, Screen and Arena  Sir Ian McKellen discussed his life in acting and activism with Serdar Biliş . Presented in partnership with the Istanbul Theatre Festival and hosted by Zorlu PSM @Zorlu Performance Centre 

7 April   Festival Talks: Sir Ian McKellen with academician and film critic Melis Behlil. Presented in partnership with Istanbul Film Festival  @Boğaziçi University. Please watch this festival talk video above and see the event photos.

7 April   Screening of Richard III (1995) at Atlas, introduced by Sir Ian McKellen. Presented in partnership with Istanbul Film Festival

8 April   Screening of Richard III (1995) at Kadıköy Rexx, introduced by Sir Ian McKellen. Presented in partnership with Istanbul Film Festival. Please see the photos of screenings at Atlas and Kadıköy Rexx

Moreover you may see our event photos from our event, The Struggle, On Screen and Off: Pink Life QueerFest in conversation with Sir Ian McKellen and Lord Michael Cashman on 8 April @Salt Galata.

Please listen the podcast of Sir Ian McKellen's interview with Açık Radyo on 12 April 2017.

There was a series of live stream events, competitions and invitations throughout his visit. People who followed our website and social media had a chance to meet Sir Ian McKellen in person or watch him live.

Follow all social media communication during his visit via the hashtag #IanMcKelleninTurkey. 


Sir Ian McKellen

The actor Sir Ian McKellen read English at St Catharine's College when he was President of the Marlowe Society 1960-61. In over fifty years work, he has won as many international acting awards for his work on stage and screen. Sir Ian is a co-founder of Stonewall, which lobbies for legal and social equality for gay people in the UK. Now an Honorary Fellow of St Catharine’s, he was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1979, knighted in 1991 and made a Companion of Honour in 2008.

Lord Michael Cashman

Michael Maurice Cashman, The Lord Cashman CBE is a British politician and former actor. He was a Member of the European Parliament from 1999 until he stood down in 2014. Since then, he has been appointed to the House of Lords. On 23 September 2014, Cashman was appointed the Labour Party's special envoy on LGBT issues worldwide. He is also one of the co-founders of the Stonewall. He has been an active campaigner across a wide range of issues, including his efforts to introduce pension rights for members of the union EQUITY as well as being instrumental in the unions modernisation programme when he was the Honorary Treasurer.