The film was the Palme d’Or winner at the Cannes film festival in May.
News of the selection was announced on Twitter by Omer Celik, Turkey’s minister of Culture and Tourism. “I hope Ceylan will show the same success during his Oscar journey as he has many times in the international arena,” Celik said.
The selection is the third time that a film by Ceylan has been chosen by Turkey as its foreign-language Oscar candidate, following previous runs by “Once Upon A Time In Anatolia” and “Three Monkeys,” two years previously.
In the history of the Oscars Turkey has nominated 20 films, but has not seen any receive nomination from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.
“Winter Sleep,” which runs for more than three hours, is an epic drama about a former actor who has become a newspaper columnist and the owner/proprietor of a mountaintop hotel, his much younger wife, and his sister.
Rights in the U.S. were acquired in June by Adopt Films, which said that it is planning an awards season release at the end of the year.
The deadline for submission of foreign-language contenders is Oct. 1. Nominations will be announced on Jan. 15, with the awards handed out on Feb. 22.