Peter Ustinov once described this film as follows: "It is a combination of action, intrigue, humor and young love. It is a satirical look at the strife between the peasants and the landowners of Turkey in the 1920s."
This film's "Memed, My Hawk" source novel was Yasar Kemal's first novel and was also the first novel in his Ince Memed tetralogy. Its Turkish title is Ince Memed which translates as Memed the Thin. The four volumes of the Ince Memed saga were published in 1955, 1969, 1984 and 1987.
The first lines of Yasar Kemal's source novel read: "The slopes of the Taurus Mountains rise from the shores of the Eastern Mediterranean, on the southern coast of Turkey, in a steady ascent from the white, foam-fringed rocks to the peaks."
The film producers were able to raise the finances for the movie in Turkey with the formal approval of the Turkish government of the day. However, the Turkish Film Censorship Committee refused to grant permission for the motion picture to be filmed in Turkey. After elections in Turkey, a new Turkish government upheld the decision of the Turkish Film Censorship Committee and refused to grant filming permits to the producers. Therefore, the production had to be moved in a hurry to Yugoslavia. The film had a Royal Gala Premiere, in the aid of UNICEF, in May 1984, in London but the Turkish ambassador did not attend it. The Turkish government banned the film in Turkey.