Marco W. - 247 days in the Turkish prison

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Original title Marco W. - 247 days in the Turkish prison
Country of production Germany
original language German , English , Turkish , Russian
Publishing year 2011
length 111 minutes
Age rating FSK 12
JMK 12
Director Oliver Dommenget
script Johannes Betz
production Ica Souvignier ,
Michael Souvignier ,
Dominik Frankowski
music Klaus Badelt
camera Georgy Pestov
cut Ingo Recker

Marco W. - 247 Days in Turkish Prison is a German film drama from 2011 , which was directed by Oliver Dommenget by the production company Zeitsprung Entertainment GmbH . The focus of the film is the real story of Marco Weiss , who was arrested in 2007 on charges of sexual abuse of a 13-year-old British woman while on vacation in Turkey and had to spend 247 days in a Turkish prison. The television film is based on his book My 247 Days in Turkish Prison .

It was first broadcast in German on March 22, 2011 at 8:15 p.m. on Sat.1 .



The 17-year-old Marco Weiss spends his holidays carefree with his parents on the Turkish Riviera . But on the last day of the holiday, the idyll bursts when Marco is arrested by the Turkish authorities on charges of sexual abuse of the British underage girl Carolina. The German youth had to spend the next 247 days in custody under inhumane conditions in a Turkish prison. Because of a translation error in the first trial, the 17-year-old is locked up in the foreigner's cell with 30 adult felons. Again and again he stands before the court, each time the proceedings are postponed due to the lack of written testimony from Carolina. Even the Turkish judge and the public prosecutor are not convinced of his innocence. After about eight months in prison, the minor is finally allowed to leave for Germany. Meanwhile, the proceedings will continue without him.


Marco W. and his parents Martina and Ralf spend another relaxing holiday in a Turkish 5-star hotel. On the last day of his vacation, 17-year-old Marco has to answer Turkish officials' questions about the last night with the 13-year-old British girl Carolina, whom he met on vacation, in a police station. After the girl was also heard, Marco is officially arrested and detained in a local prison on suspicion of sexual abuse.

The next day, the German is tried for the first time. There Marco admits to having had sexual contact with Carolina, but not having sexual intercourse with her or abusing her. Because of a translation error, the Turkish judge understands that he has had sex with her and decides to keep him in custody for four weeks until the first real trial. He is locked up with 30 adult criminals in the foreigners ' cell of the Antalya prison, where he is received in a friendly manner by some inmates, some of whom are German-speaking, and less respectful by others. On the advice of the hotel waiter who was present at the first hearing, Marco keeps the real allegations of the judiciary secret from his fellow inmates and instead claims to have beaten up a security guard.

Meanwhile, his parents hire a lawyer despite their financially difficult situation. This gives them the opportunity to visit Marco for ten minutes in custody, which the two immediately notice. After the visit, they want to make the inhumane conditions of the detention public, but the lawyer convinces them to keep quiet so as not to offend the pride of the Turkish judiciary and thereby negatively influence neither the prison conditions nor the court proceedings for their son. Nevertheless, journalists learn of the arrest and persistently try to reach Marco's mother Martina W. and his brother Sascha in Germany. Both block attempts to contact the German press. Nevertheless, the first reports appear in the German media.

After a bail has been refused and the trial date has been postponed another four weeks, the first trial begins after 58 days in prison, with the public being excluded. Although Marco is exonerated in the course of the proceedings by the Turkish doctor who examined Carolina, the court adjourned as the testimony of the minors was not yet available to the judge in a translated and written form.

In order to get their son out of prison faster and to be able to finance the enormous costs, Marco's family is going public with the case for the first time. With their new media advisor they can capitalize on the huge media interest. Marco is also interviewed on Turkish television. Through this intensive reporting, the detainee who has been detained for 76 days now has a "special status" among the inmates and guards. He will be moved to a newly built single cell, also to make a healthy impression in court.

There are four more hearings over the next six months, each time leaving more coverage and being adjourned despite another lawyer for the accused. At the same time, Marco's brother Sascha is organizing vigils in Germany to support his imprisoned brother and setting up a website. Finally, on December 14, 2007, after 247 days of pre-trial detention, the seventh hearing begins, in the course of which it is decided that Marco Weiss can be released from pre-trial detention without any conditions and that the proceedings can be continued without him. On the same day, Marco flies with his father to Germany, where his family awaits him.


The film is based on the true story of Marco Weiss , which he recorded in his book My 247 Days in Turkish Prison and which served as a template for the film. Ica and Michael Souvignier secured the film rights with their production company Zeitsprung Entertainment GmbH in the spring of 2010. The script was developed by Johannes Betz in close cooperation with the Weiss family and condensed as is typical for television. Oliver Dommenget was hired as director, who had already made the film Böseckendorf - The Night in which a Village Disappeared with the producers .

Shooting started a few months after the film rights were acquired in May 2010. Many scenes were shot in Malta , but not in Turkey. This is how all the outdoor shots in Turkey were made, such as those in the hotel complex, the shots in front of the court, the police station or the prisons on the island. All other locations were in northern Germany around Hamburg and Marco Weiss' actual place of residence in Uelzen . Important locations for the drama were also Buchholz in the Nordheide , where the courtroom was set up in a school and some exterior shots were taken of Marco's mother's workplace. The interior and exterior shots of the Weiss family's house were taken in Seevetal . The Aliens Cell of the Antalya Prison was set up in Ramelsloh . Filming ended in mid-June 2010.

Not all real people have their real names in the film, so Marco's father, whose last name is Jahns in real life, was renamed Ralf Weiss for the sake of understanding. The British girl was renamed from Charlotte to Carolina, among other things because of legal concerns from Sat.1 and Zeitsprung and in order not to violate personal rights. Some prisoners in the Turkish prison were also combined into one person and some characteristics were developed.

The feature film was not created by Zeitsprung Entertainment GmbH alone, but in co-production with AZ Media TV and SevenOne International GmbH. The film, which premiered on March 14, 2011 in the Filmcasino Munich, was funded by Nordmedia Fonds GmbH and with funds from the State of Lower Saxony and with the support of the Lower Saxony Investment and Development Bank, as well as the Malta Cash Incentive.

Documentation: The Marco case

The documentary called Der Fall Marco W. was also realized by the production company Zeitsprung and was broadcast on Sat.1 on March 22, 2011 following the feature film. It was partly shot at the same time as Marco W.'s main shooting - 247 days in the Turkish prison in summer 2010, but some scenes were also shot in autumn 2010. The report reports on the Weiss family as they experienced the time they were in prison. In addition, people from the English youth environment are interviewed. The Carolina family declined to comment on what had happened.



Tilmann Tp. Gangloff from says: “A film was made under the direction of Oliver Dommenget that manages with an astonishingly low amount of colportage [...] The length of 110 minutes is completely appropriate. Although not much happens after the prologue, the script and direction avoid any idle time. […] Veronica Ferres and Herbert Knaup play the parents routinely and convincingly embody their helplessness and despair. The performance of the young Vladimir Burlakov is outstanding. Especially in the difficult soulful scenes, which can easily slip into kitschy with exaggerated interpretation, Burlakov seems astonishingly confident. [...] The foreign language also contributes enormously to the authenticity of the film. "

Christopher Keil from the editorial office of the Süddeutsche Zeitung sums it up: “Marco W. refers exclusively to the book by Marco Weiss, which appeared after his release. What is the result? A "play it safe", both personally and artistically. No film that illuminates closed rooms, the past or the months after the student returned home. […] Films of this kind are an escape, they don't risk much and they expect affection. And who wants to refuse Marco W.? "

Nikolaus von Festenberg from Spiegel Online praises: “The director (Oliver Dommenget) and the book by Johannes Betz succeed in restoring the core of the tragedy in this almost deathly tabloid case. This is anything but the putting on of abysses. Only when you see the documentary The Marco W case , which is then shown on Sat.1 , do you discover how the story could have been told differently, albeit more speculatively, and lost the thread and focus. "

“A (television) drama developed with confidence based on an authentic case that moved the German public in 2007. Despite all the emotional charge of the subject, the film remains close to the autobiographical report of the young person and exercises more discreet restraint than showcasing emotions in a striking way. "


When it was first broadcast, the TV film achieved the highest viewing figures in prime time with 2.51 million viewers aged 14 to 49 and a market share of 20.3%. The total audience measured an average of 4.87 million viewers, the market share was 15.8%.



The film was released one day after its first broadcast on March 23, 2011 on DVD and Blu-ray Disc in stores. The drama is distributed with an additional making-of by Lighthouse Home Entertainment. A release of the soundtrack is still being discussed.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Release certificate for Marco W. - 247 days in the Turkish prison . Voluntary self-regulation of the film industry , March 2011 (PDF; test number: 126 848 V).
  2. ^ Age rating for Marco W. - 247 days in the Turkish prison . Youth Media Commission (  DVD).
  3. Marco W. - 247 days in the Turkish prison: background to the film., accessed on March 5, 2011 .
  4. Karolin Jacquemain: Marco Weiss: At the wrong time in the wrong place., June 19, 2010, accessed March 5, 2011 .
  5. 247 days in jail: Marco's fate is filmed. Focus Online, May 6, 2010, accessed on March 6, 2011 (official report from the dpa).
  6. MARCO W. - 247 DAYS IN TURKISH PRISON - facts. (No longer available online.) Nordmedia, archived from the original on October 31, 2013 ; Retrieved March 15, 2011 . Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  7. Tilmann Tp. Gangloff: Marco W. - 247 days in the Turkish prison - criticism., accessed on March 24, 2011 .
  8. Christopher Keil: Documentation about "Marco W." - game with likeness. Süddeutsche Zeitung, March 22, 2011, accessed on March 24, 2011 .
  9. Nikolaus von Festenberg: Why should Veronica not be allowed to cry? Spiegel Online, March 22, 2011, accessed March 24, 2011 .
  10. Marco W. - 247 days in the Turkish prison. In: Lexicon of International Films . Film service , accessed December 13, 2016 .Template: LdiF / Maintenance / Access used 
  11. Uwe Mantel: "Marco W." gives Sat.1 the primetime victory., March 23, 2011, accessed on March 24, 2011 .
  12. ^ Actor News. Schlag Künstleragentur, accessed on February 18, 2016 .
  13. Young Talent Award 2011: Nominations. Studio Hamburg, accessed on June 2, 2011 .
  14. Carsten Tudisch: Lighthouse: TV event "Marco W." on Blu-ray. (No longer available online.), February 3, 2011, archived from the original on April 6, 2011 ; Retrieved March 14, 2011 . Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /