In 1963, while I was filming Şafak Bekçileri at Eskişehir Air Force Base, a young lieutenant, extremely handsome in uniform, caught my attention. His name was Fahrettin Cüreklibatur and he was a reserve officer. He accepted my offer to play the role of an officer in my film, but because of his duties, we could not collaborate.
As I was getting ready to shoot Gurbet Kuşları / Birds of Exile, Fahrettin Cüreklibatur told me that he had completed his military service and that he could now take a part in my film. (...) After Birds of Exile, Cüneyt Arkın was mostly given young lover roles, appealing mainly to the feminine audience. I must admit that I never thought of characters like "Malkoçoğlu" or "The Man Who Saved the World", which one day would earn him fame in Turkey and in the world. The creation of that Cüneyt Arkın is entirely to his own credit. And he has no equals in the movie history in the world. Sometimes compared to Alain Delon for his handsome features, Cüneyt Arkın became the celebrated star of romance movies. Then one year he enrolled as volunteer in the Medrano circus that came to Istanbul, to develop his athletic skills. He surpassed all his rivals in the world cinema by his acrobatic stunts in action movies abundant with horses, swords and leaps. His films were shown under various titles all around the world. While the Italians marketed his films in South America as George Arkin, he conquered the Iranians as Fahrettin. In spite of all his success in this area, Cüneyt Arkın did not limit himself to action films. He played in movies dealing with serious social issues, and he also directed some films. Many people may wonder why he chose to remain in Turkey instead of pursuing an international career. But he is primarily "Vatandaş Rıza" (Citizen Rıza) who devoted himself to Turkey's welfare. As to "The Man Who Saved the World", this is simply an occasion to cheer up.
- Halit Refiğ