« Skyrocketing demand for soap operas beat satellites » – Hürriyet Daily News

Cast members from the hit show Muhteşem Yüzyıl (The Magnificent Century) Hürriyet photo

« Turkish television and cinema representatives have requested an increase in both domestic and international satellite capacity to meet skyrocketing demand, according to the general manager of Türksat Satellite Communications and Cable TV Management.

Türksat, Turkey’s current satellite infrastructure provider, does not have the necessary capacity to meet the needs of the booming Turkish television and cinema sector’s domestic and international satellite requirements, Özkan Dalbay said.

New satellites needed. The provider’s new 4A and 4B satellites, which are slated to soon go into service, will help ease some of the demand, he said, but added that even they would be insufficient in meeting demand at the current rate of development.

Dalbay also said Turkey’s plans to create its own domestic satellite were continuing in tandem with the 4A and 4B satellite project and that eight Japanese satellite production specialists were currently working on the endeavor.

“If we don’t face any problems, we plan to have a satellite production center in place by the end of 2013. Our domestic communications satellite project will also be completed by that date and production will begin at the facility,” said Dalbay, adding that Turkey would have its first domestically designed and produced satellite communications system in place by 2015 barring any glitches. »

Source : Hürriyet Daily News

« Turkey takes off » – C21 Media


by Andrew Mc Donald

« Turkey’s expanding TV business is attracting plenty of international attention thanks to the strength of its drama programming and advertising market. Andrew McDonald reports, as Discop Istanbul gets into gear.

Turkey’s TV content market has evolved dramatically in the past decade and a half. Once home to a high number of foreign imports, including Latin American telenovelas, Turkey has since developed a rich drama industry of its own that now accounts for the bulk of the main terrestrial broadcasters’ primetime output.

Though international unscripted formats such as Who Wants to be a Millionaire? and Pop Idol have found homes in Turkish schedules, it is big-budget, weekly home-grown dramas that are demanding the most investment and winning the biggest ratings.

They are also gaining the attention of schedulers outside the country, thanks to their high production values. Turkish content is already notching up sales in Eastern Europe, the Baltic states, the Middle East and parts of Asia, and is even starting to find audiences further afield.

“Turkey is not a great market for formats,” admits Izzet Pinto, founder and president of Turkish distribution house Global Agency. “Formats were doing very well, but now most are being commissioned for just one season and the reason is that in primetime people prefer to watch drama series. Therefore, local scripted productions dominate.”

Ziyad Varol, deputy content sales manager at ATV, one of Turkey’s biggest broadcasters, agrees. “In terms of primetime slots, drama is definitely the number one content type. If you look at ATV’s programmes you’ll see that in seven days you will definitely have scripted TV series on five or six days, mainly dramas but also sitcoms,” he says. The channel’s scheduling is done with a close eye on what rival broadcasters are doing on any given day – particularly Turkey’s number one terrestrial network Kanal D, he adds. 

Even Who Wants to be a Millionaire?, which Varol claims has been “doing really well” for ATV over the past six months, only finds a home in the ‘primetime-3’ slot of 23.00. Earlier primetime-1 and primetime-2 slots – 20.00-22.00 and 22.00-23.00 respectively – are given over to scripted content. Is there much room for unscripted formats in Turkey?

“Gameshows and other entertainment shows get limited space on Turkish TV, so we can’t say the situation is better at the moment; it has always been like that,” says Idil Belli, general manager of Sera Films. The Turkish distributor sells format rights to Who Wants to be a Millionaire? and Dragons’ Den in the country, thanks to a local distribution pact with Sony Pictures Television.

While Millionaire has found a home on ATV, Dragons’ Den airs on Bloomberg HT, a niche Turkish news channel created in 2010 thanks to a deal between local station Kanal1 and Bloomberg. Though the network airs another Sera-distributed gameshow, called Think, in an evening slot, Bloomberg HT head of acquisitions Aylin Amber admits these shows cannot challenge Turkey’s mainstream drama output.

“Even though it’s the minority of the audience, there are a lot of people who prefer to watch a gameshow instead of watching a local series, so it’s a perfect alternative. But we definitely can’t compete with them, because from the time we were measured, I know that 80% or 90% of the audience is watching local series,” she says.

Ansi Elgoz, MD of Endemol Turkey, also concedes that “broadcasters have very limited space for non-scripted formats.” Endemol Turkey was set up in 2008 to produce local versions of formats such as Total Wipeout, Fear Factor, The Money Drop and Deal or No Deal, and though Endemol does also deal internationally in drama output, even imported scripted formats have a hard time competing with home-grown shows, Elgoz says.

“At the moment, there are about 65 to 70 drama series this season on air in the Turkish TV landscape – a huge number. Of these, only one is adapted: Desperate Housewives. All the other scripted concepts are locally developed, so if you look at the ratio, adaptations in Turkey are always more difficult,” she says.

Though Turkey is not a closed shop when it comes to overseas drama, the popularity of home-sourced stories is clear. Kerim Emrah Turna, international sales and acquisitions specialist at Kanal D, says his channel’s version of Desperate Housewives is doing well in its Sunday 20.00 slot. However, the channel’s big project for this year is a locally developed drama called Kuzey Guney (North & South), which airs in the equivalent Wednesday night slot.

Elsewhere, Endemol Turkey partnered with Argentinian network Telefe to adapt primetime daily telenovela The Successful Mr & Mrs Pells as a weekly drama for the Kanal D. Yet despite other adaptations of the format in Poland and Chile, the show, called Mükemmel Çift (Perfect Couple) in Turkey, didn’t make it past one season. Similarly, ATV’s remake of Chilean network TVN’s popular telenovela Donde Esta Elisa? ended last year after one 26-episode run.

It is yet to be seen how well Fox TV’s new scripted sitcom Young Enough will do. The Turkish channel, which was rebranded from TGRT after News Corp acquired it in 2006, bought the remake rights to the show from Sera Films, which licensed it from Mediaset. In Italy, the show is known as Casa Vianello.

The reason why locally developed projects seem to fare so much better is partly cultural and partly down to the practicalities of making a series for the distinct Turkish market. Global Agency’s Pinto notes that due to Turkish regulations, nudity and sex are not shown, which made the country’s version of Big Brother markedly different from some of the format’s racier European versions, and would effectively rule out an adaptation of popular Western shows like Sex & the City. 

In addition, Turkish primetime dramas tend to run to 90 or 100 minutes per episode, while US dramas average out at around 45 minutes, making it difficult to adapt a series without substantial re-writes.

“You take the concept but to make it longer you have to write another episode. Or you have to put two episodes together, which doesn’t make sense, because an episode has its own development, climax point and conclusion. So it’s very difficult to expand a 45-minute concept into a 90-minute drama per week. Instead of trying to adapt it, you might as well re-write it,” says Elagoz.

Turna says the reason why Turkey tends towards longer episodes is to do with regulations that limit ad breaks to 12 minutes in every hour. This is in line with European legislation, which Turkey has adopted voluntarily despite not being a part of the EU. “To get a bigger part of the advertisement pie, channels are demanding 90-minute episodes from the producers in order to have a couple more primetime advertisement slots during the programme,” he says.

By the same logic, you might then expect Turkish dramas to be equally hard to sell abroad due to episode length. Yet this does not seem to be the case. Indeed, ad gains along with rivalry in the Turkish market are helping to drive up production values, which in turn is making Turkish drama more appealing to international buyers.

“Since there’s huge competition between the Turkish broadcasters, they invest more and more in the production quality in order to get a bigger slice of the advertisement market in Turkey. So that’s why the production quality is increasing day-to-day in Turkey. We believe that in the very near future, we will cover nearly all the world with these productions,” says Can Okan, president, CEO and co-founder of Istanbul-based distributor ITV Inter Medya. 

Okan claims that in the past couple of years production budgets in Turkey have doubled, with some period dramas costing US$750,000 per episode. Over at Kanal D, Turna agrees: “We are spending incredible amounts of money when we begin the shows. For example, for Öyle Bir Geçer Zaman ki (Time Goes By), just for the first two episodes we spent more than €1m [US$1.3m]. But the market is very competitive.”

Time Goes By is now in its second season and hit a peak 71% share during one airing last year. It’s a key title for Kanal D’s sales division, while Turna says that in many territories, 90-minute Turkish drama episodes are shown in their entirety or stripped as two 45-minute episodes 

“In Eastern Europe – for example, Greece, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Serbia, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania, Kosovo, Slovakia – all of these countries are airing lots of Turkish drama series,” he says, adding that Kanal D drama Gümüs hit an episode peak of 85 million Arab viewers after it was sold to MBC in the Middle East – a record for the region, he says.

Elsewhere, ATV drama Ezel has already been distributed to more than 40 countries and was the most watched programme in Hungary last year, according to Varol. Remake rights to the show have also been sold into a handful of countries, including Belgium, with talks underway with a US broadcaster.

“This proves that Turkish drama is also suitable for other territories,” says Varol. “If you look at the territories where we have mostly sold our titles, they are in the Middle East, the Balkans and, to some extent, Eastern Europe – ex-Soviet countries as well – and we have started to expand our presence to African territories.”

Executives representing ITV Inter Medya, Global Agency and Turkish broadcaster TRT were at Natpe in Miami in January to try to open up sales into Latin America – reversing what was once an established trend in the Turkish market.

“Telenovelas were incredibly popular 10 or 15 years ago. When I was younger our whole family used to watch Latin telenovelas during daytime and also in some primetime slots. At that time we only had one or two Turkish drama series, but for a very long time we haven’t aired any telenovelas on the mainstream Turkish TV channels,” says Turna.

Pinto, who is currently shopping a number of Turkish daytime entertainment formats along with drama series such as Magnificent Century and 1001 Nights, adds that these days the stories being told by Turkish drama series are “absolutely different” from Lat Am novelas.

“There is huge television activity in Turkey,” adds Patrick Jucaud-Zuchowicki, general manager of Basic Lead and the man behind Discop Istanbul, which has its second outing this week. “Over the past three years we’ve seen Turkish drama producers expand their reach beyond the Turkish marketplace. They sell drama series into the Middle East, into Central Asia, the Balkans, even into Latin America, so Turkish content has a strong attraction and that is something that has helped us establish our market.”

The success of Turkish drama is also helping to reshape the domestic market and stimulate competition. After setting up shop in Turkey four years ago, Endemol recently appointed ATV’s former head of drama Hulya Vural to head a new drama division, to create its own locally developed scripted content. 

The major broadcasters are also stepping up their in-house production efforts, increasing competition with established Turkish producers like Ay Yapim. At ATV, Varol explains that though the network makes magazine shows and some studio content in-house, it doesn’t have a drama production unit. However, he says it has plans to set up a production arm, probably in the next three to five years.

“We see the potential,” says Varol, claiming that to keep international rights to shows “you need to be very strong or you need to produce the content by yourself.”

Meanwhile, major Western players are also showing interest in the Turkish market, due to its impressive growth and promising forecasts in the TV advertising space – particularly against the backdrop of a wider European downturn and poor returns from many Eastern European markets.

Though the main five Turkish broadcasters, with the exception of Fox, are still owned by Turkish firms, Kanal D reportedly attracted interest from RTL, Time Warner, News Corp and investment group Texas Pacific Group when the network’s parent, Dogan Holding, sought advice on a possible sale in 2010. 

The same parties were also recently linked to ATV when it put itself up for sale at the beginning of the year, with the main terrestrial broadcasters a seemingly logical target for Western players hoping to break into this market, due to the concentration of ad revenues among these channels

“Turkish cable and satellite channels have a fundamental structural problem. We see an increasing audience share, but they are not able to monetise it because a lot of them they are fragmented and advertisers have relationships with the big broadcasters and get a fair amount of discounts there,” says IHS’s head of advertising research Daniel Knapp.

However, he believes the rewards that the Turkish market can yield for outside investors are clear. “Recent years have shown that the Turkish TV market is an opportunity too good to miss,” he says. “In 2010, the ad market grew by 40%. For 2011, we project it to grow by 22% in net terms, which is phenomenal. We don’t see this growth anywhere else.

“Whereas all the other markets are going to be fairly static, fairly low growth – in the UK going from €4bn in 2011 to €4.4bn in 2015 – Turkey will go from €1bn to €2bn in the same timeframe, so doubling the size of the TV ad market.” he adds, claiming that Turkey, along with Russia, will be the key European markets to watch over the next few years. »

Source : C21 Media

« First-ever Kurdish TV series ‘Siya Mem-u Zin’ receives accolades » – Sabah

Source : Sabah

« Once a prohibited poet, Ahmed-i Hani’s poetic work Mem-u Zin was first translated as a book from Kurdish into Turkish and then later was adapted for the screen by TRT 6.

Held at the Rixos Hotel, last night’s premiere gala for « Siya Mem-u Zin », which translates to ‘In the Shadow of Mem-u Zin’, brought out high level members of the state. Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç, Minister of Finance Mehmet Şimşek, Minister of Defense İsmet Yılmaz and Minister of Food, Agriculture and Husbandry Mehdi Eker all gave a thumbs up to Turkey’s first television program shot and broadcast in Kurdish. During his address at the gala, Minister Eker started off speaking in Kurdish and later switched into Turkish.

Eker explained that Ahmed-i Hani holds a very special place in his life and stated, « For a while, Mem-u Zin would be told along with a series of secretly hidden legends. There were even times when if someone was caught with a copy of the tale, they would be forced to endure torture. The point we have reached now is an extremely important development. »

Deputy Prime Minister Arınç states, « We will break free from this terrorism curse, which we all complain of, by getting to know each other better and by holding one another in high esteem. »

Adapted from the famous work by Ahmed-i Hani, which was completed in 1964, « Siya Mem-u Zin » is produced by Aytekin Mert and directed by Yusuf Güven. The series stars Cem Kurtoğlu, Süleyman Karadağ, Bilal Yörük and Yaprak Durmaz. »

Source : Sabah

« Uzbeks censor Turkish TV series » – Hürriyet Daily News

Actor Kıvanç Tatlıtuğ starred in TV series ‘Gümüş’ with the actress Songül Öden. Source : Hürriyet Daily News

« Three state-run televisions in Uzbekistan have banned the broadcasting of Turkish TV series on the grounds that they contain “unsuitable content.”

According to news that appeared in the Uzbek media, some sources that are close to state television said the real reason behind banning Turkish TV series was the “rebellious situation” of some characters in those series.

It is also said that some scenes in the series were inappropriate to the mindset of Uzbek people.

Uzbek state televisions also banned Turkish TV series in 2000, but although they later returned to the screen.

The TV series “Gümüş” was broadcast on Yoshlar TV in Uzbekistan five times a week during morning hours and prime time. The star of the series, Kıvanç Tatlıtuğ, has become very popular among the youth in the country.« 

Source : Hürriyet Daily News

« TV fair readies to kick off next week » – Hürriyet Daily News

Behzat Ç, Turkish series, will be among the series, which will be presented to the 40 countries at the DISCOP fair. Global Agency company will be presenting the series. Source Hürriyet

« The Turkish television industry will welcome the DISCOP Istanbul Television Publishing and Fair between Feb. 28 and March 1.

The fair, which will take place at Istanbul Ceylan Intercontinental Hotel, covers 32 countries from the Middle East, Central Asia and North Africa that are together home to more than 500 million audiences.

The fair will also provide a platform for Global Agency, which has distributed series such as “İffet,” “Behzat Ç.,” “Kalbim 4 Mevsim” and “Firar” from Turkey’s private Star TV channel.

Global Agency, whose goal is to distribute the most watched series around the world, has previously sold “Muhteşem Yüzyıl” (The Magnificent Century) to 40 countries and is among the five fastest growing distribution companies in the world.

The fair will gather 120 international content providers in Istanbul for presentations and discussions on TV formats, program packages, movie portfolios and more.

Global Agency has been attending television broadcasting fairs around the world for the past eight years.

A new presentation from Turkish TV scene

Following its presentation of “Magnificent Century” to TV companies at last year’s DISCOP, Global Agency plans to present the series “Suskunlar” (Silent) at this year’s DISCOP, Chief Executive Officer İzzet Pinto said.

The company will also present movie projects such as “Love in a different language,” “1001 Nights” to international companies in addition to various competition formats. »

Source: Hürriyet Daily News

« Çalık: Turkey will grow by at least five percent » – Sabah

Source : Sabah

« Explaining that Turkey had one of the fastest growing economies in 2011, Çalık Holding Chairman of the Executive Board Ahmet Çalık, states, “Despite the uncertainties in Europe, this year the economy will still show at least five percent growth.”

Çalık Holding Chairman of the Executive Board Ahmet Çalık expressed that Turkey has now become a regional player due to its political stability, correct management and economic reforms. « Even in 2011, which was a difficult year for the world, Turkey is way above expectations and has become one of the limited numbers of fast growing economies. Despite the uncertainties of the global economy and especially in Europe, I think that Turkey will see at least four to five percent growth for 2012. » Çalık goes on to state that Turkey has decreased the single market risk and has opened into new markets. « The slow-down in Europe has been balanced by the strengthening of other markets. Meanwhile, the strong growth in our country and the increasing welfare has produced new opportunities, in addition to establishing a tolerance to the changes in the international market. Over the past ten years, Turkey continues to do the right things by continuously developing, and recognizing the risks and taking action. »

A 700 MILLION $ INVESTMENT

Ahmet Çalık also offered an assessment of Çalık Group’s objectives and stated, « We operate in 15 nations with over 20,000 employees. We have become exhausted by adapting to the special standards of each nation. We are used to crises and have developed resistance. If you are prepared then you will be able to handle the sunny days and the harsh winter conditions and you will know it is all temporary and will take precautions accordingly. »

Çalık also shared that in 2011; the holding saw a 20 percent increase in active growth and revenue increased by 50 percent and the company made 700 million dollars worth of investments. Ahmet Çalık went on to state, « With the exception of the big projects we currently have for this year, we also foresee making a 250 million dollar investment. »

WE WILL BE RETIRING OUR FIVE-YEAR BONDS AND WILL EMBARK ON NEW PROJECTS

Çalık goes on to state that the group has realized a total bond issue of 200 million dollars as well as fulfilled all commitments embarked on in their entirety. « In March, we will be retiring our five-year bond after which we will continue to look out for more projects. » This positive retirement and interest shows that if our group were to take out another bond, we would be able to obtain funds under much more suitable conditions. Even though there aren’t any plans as such at the moment, depending on the suitability to the conditions in the upcoming period, we could end up issuing a bond. »

Our projects contribute to urban renewal

Ahmet Çalık explained that they have begun working on the initial sales of Gap İnşaat’s Tarlabaşı Urban Renewal Project, while efforts to develop the Fener-Balat project continues, and states, « The first phase of the Metropol Istanbul project in Ataşehir has gone on sale. They have acquired significant interest and a nice sales graphics. Our Şehrizar Residents project in Üsküdar Burhaniye is an absolute gem with both its location and modern neighborhood concept. They will begin hosting their first residents at the end of the year. We are expecting to make over 500 million dollars in revenue from our projects which have already begun to sell. »

Proposals received by Turkuvaz contribute to our brand

Çalık explained that Turkuvaz Medya’s capital is growing and that both print and publishing quality has increased and stated that they have established a number of new brands. Çalık also revealed a series of sales details, explaining that according to the initial requests coming in for the brand they are seeing intense interest, Çalık states, « This represents our significant contribution to the brand. Of course the perception of Turkey that is developing abroad is also significant. » Ahmet Çalık also reminded that work on the Samsun-Ceyhan Petroleum Pipeline, the East Mediterranean Refinery and Petrochemical continue, while in addition to these projects, we also have electric and gas distribution companies as well as wind and HES projects available in our portfolio. »

Source : Sabah

« Deputy gets apology for series character » – Hürriyet Daily News

CHP deputy Nur Serter vows to file a complaint for the character in the TV series. Hürriyet photo

« A production firm publicly apologized to opposition deputy Nur Serter yesterday after she vowed to file a lawsuit over a new television series character – a prostitute-turned-brothel owner – bearing the same name as she.

“We apologize to both Ms. Fatma Nur Serter and the public for this incident that has come about due to a computer mistake, even though [this mistake] has not figured into the [actual] broadcast,” read the written apology issued by Süreç Filming, the company that produced the new series “Uçurum” (Abyss).

Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy Serter said the use of both her first and last names in the series could not be coincidental. “I am of the opinion [my name] was inserted there to serve a certain purpose,” she said, according to daily Hürriyet.  » […]

Source : Hürriyet Daily News

« Greek TV must ‘coproduce to survive' » – C21 Media

« Greek producers must look to international coproductions if they are to get through the country’s growing financial crisis, according to a producer at 2k Films.

The government is currently imposing stringent austerity measures while the European Union discusses a second financial bail out for Greece’s struggling economy.

George Kalomenopoulos, a producer at Athens-based 2k Films, explained to C21 the impact of the crisis on the country’s television industry.

“It started about 18 months ago with major budget cutting from the broadcasters and a lot of series were suddenly interrupted,” he said. “The Antenna channels cancelled six or seven productions.

“Now the local industry is suffering from imports – especially soap operas from Turkey, instead of Greek soap operas – because it is cheaper to import than to produce your own. They are doing very well in the ratings.”

Kalomenopoulos said the only way local indies can survive now is to coproduce with foreign partners who can then sell the product to their own local broadcasters as well. 2k has recently worked with Franco-German cultural channel Arte, plus German and French producers.

He added: “We are focusing on coproductions to split the cost. We were always very active in this field but are now even more. The coproducer helps us to sell and negotiate with foreign broadcasters rather than Greek.

“They say this will last until 2020, and they are the optimists. The key is coproduction and to focus on our own strengths.” »

Source : C21 Media

« Atv shows viewed all over the globe » – Sabah

With around 2,000 hours of original programming produced each year, ATV has a « pioneer outlook » on the current market and is at the forefront of the « Turkish drama boom », as its content sales deputy manager, Ziyad Varol, told ttv.

Ziyad Varol: « Our Programs are Sold in Over 60 Countries »

As part of Turkey’s « drama boom », ATV -owned by Turkuvaz Media Group- follows the current high quality drama production trend; and the company doesn’t stop there. On the contrary, its growing international catalog also includes formats and various TV genres that enter the international arena as a result of the channel’s daily endeavors in the local market.

« The channel is known for its enthralling dramas, hilarious comedies, action-packed series and engaging sitcoms, all of which are produced in the highest quality. With a creative and pioneering approach, ATV successfully produces many unique and original programs, bringing an array of fabulous stories and first rate actors to the TV screen, » Ziyad Varol, ATV’s Content Sales deputy manager, says.

ATV currently produces around 2,000 hours of original programming including TV series, daily shows, lifestyle-entertainment and current affairs programs. However, overlooking the drama genre in Turkey can be quite dangerous.

« Drama stands at the core of the TV industry in Turkey, especially for mainstream channels and independent production houses, » he explains. Also, the executive recognizes the industry’s efforts as a whole and assures « all players deserve to be applauded » for their intense work and for succeeding in enhancing the Turkish audiovisual production quality standards. « We are proud to be part of this achievement, » Varol says.

Obviously, the local drama prominence is also reflected on the international demand for Turkish series. Yet, the executive believes in content diversification, as other kinds of content also produced in the country are having good performances overseas. « Based on the sales figures, the most popular genre appears to be drama. However, action and dramedy are also the types of genres people show interest in during international markets. If you take a look at ATV’s catalog you will also see two formats which have been very successful in Turkey; Match&Marry and Straight Forward.

When Turkey’s drama boom was just emerging, ATV’s titles were only distributed to the Middle East. « However, there are already over 60 countries buying Turkish programs, » he states. The Middle East, Balkans, Ex-Yugoslavian countries, Transcaucasia, Post-Soviet states and Eastern Europe are amongst the main buyers. « Nevertheless, it’s not a dream to expect Turkish titles to find slots in major European countries, India, Japan or even America in the future, either as taped content or formats. In the past, no one could anticipate the role that Turkish products are currently playing in the global TV market. »

BRAND NEW TRIO

In recent months, ATV has launched three new titles which, according to Ziyad Varol, have been successful in the local market and have also captured the attention of international buyers: TV series Life Goes On, The End and The Cliff. « From one of the most famous directors in Turkey, Mahsun Kirmizigul, Life Goes On draws attention to early marriage incidents that are still common in many regions in the world and portrays the dramatic life of a 15-years-old girl who is forced to marry a 70 year old man, » he says. In addition, all 25 episodes of The End have made an impact as « one of the most unique TV projects in the Turkish TV history; » and The Cliff tells « the story of a woman coming to Turkey with her sister with the hope of working as a nanny. She manages to escape from the trap she falls into at the last moment ».

Lastly, Varol shares his outlook on DISCOP Istanbul, a local event for ATV to test the market and the strength of its presence in the region: « It’s a small market, but we are glad to have an event like this taking place in Turkey. It was definitely a right decision to organize said market in Istanbul where the heart of globally popular Turkish drama beats. We find it a tailored market where all potential clients assemble ».

Source : Sabah

« Sultan tops the Internet in Bulgaria » – Hürriyet Daily News

« Popular Turkish TV series are now available on the Internet in the Bulgarian language, with “Muhteşem Yüzyıl” (Magnificent Century) taking the lead.

Among these TV series, “Muhteşem Yüzyıl” is the first one to garner high ratings on the Internet. The series, which is translated into Bulgarian by volunteer translators a few hours after the episodes premier in Turkey, has many Bulgarian followers. The followers discuss the series in forums and share private information about the artists acting in the series.

Interest in “Muhteşem Yüzyıl” on the Internet has caught the attention of Bulgarian TV channels. It is reported that many channels are competing against each other to buy the series. The winning channel will broadcast the series every weekday in order to catch the timing in Turkey.  » […]

« TV series « Magnificent Century » becomes a phenomenon in Bulgaria » – Cumhuriyet

« Several Turkish tv series which have been on air have also become a phenomenon on the internet in Bulgaria.

A number of Turkish tv series such as « Unforgettable (Unutulmaz) », « Autumn (Son Bahar) », « Little Women (Kucuk Kadinlar) », « Under the Linden Trees (Ihlamurlar Altinda) », « An Istanbul Tale (Bir Istanbul Masali) » and « Little Secrets (Kucuk Sirlar) and notably « The 1001 Nights (Binbir Gece) » and « The Fall of Leaves (Yaprak Dokumu) » have made their private channels rating champions.

« The Magnificent Century (Muhtesem Yuzyil) » has also been the most viewed tv series on the internet in Bulgaria.

Turkish tv series Magnificent Century is being watched on Bulgarian internet pages with the subtitles translated by volunteer fans a few hours later it was broadcast in Turkey. Later, tv series’ Bulgarian fans share their opinions over events and the private life of the leading cast.

The Magnificent Suleyman, Hurrem Sultan, Ibrahim Pasha, Malkacoglu and Mother of Reigning Sultan are the main topics of the forums. Bulgarian tv channels have already taken action to buy this tv series’ copyrights.

Yet, the Magnificent Century is not the only Turkish tv series that attracts the highest audience viewership in Bulgaria. « I Named You Feriha (Adini Feriha Koydum) », « Modesty (Iffet) », « What Is the Fault of Fatmagul? (Fatmagul’un Sucu Ne?) », « North-South (Kuzey-Guney) » and some other popular series are also still being watched excitedly by Bulgarian fans. »

Source : Cumhuriyet

« In the ‘Valley of the Wolves’  » – Sunday’s Zaman

credits : Gael Turine. Source : Sunday's Zaman

« In January 2003, the TV series “Kurtlar Vadisi” (Valley of the Wolves) had just begun to be broadcast. It quickly became popular thanks to its references to politics as well action scenes Turkish viewers had not been much accustomed to in locally produced series. There are many TV series in Turkey that appeal to all sorts of viewer demographics. Among them are historical series, political ones, family series, action series and comedies. These series reach and are watched by not only large domestic audiences but many viewers outside of Turkey as well.

“Valley of the Wolves” wound up being so popular that it was followed by two full-length movies, featuring cast members from the TV show. “Valley of the Wolves: Iraq” took as its basis a real event that occurred in Iraq in 2003, when American soldiers held 11 Turkish soldiers captive. The film was shot on a $14 million budget, making it the most expensive movie shot in Turkey at the time. This was followed by “Valley of the Wolves: Palestine,” which put the spotlight on a multinational flotilla of ships, headed by the Mavi Marmara, a ship Israeli commandos attacked in international waters.

What Turkey’s various TV series have done is to turn the country into the Bollywood of Eastern Europe. The 3.5 million Turks living in Germany follow these series very closely. And regardless of the fact that standard TV series are not generally programs I choose to watch on a regular basis, the fact is that these Turkish productions are very well done. Teams of professionals work on these series to do the best job they can in the shortest amount of time possible. The popularity of “Valley of the Wolves” became more and more clear to me when I saw how many people were gathering in coffeehouses and Internet cafés to watch it. And these days — the new season has just begun — I can already sense the excitement this causes in the people around me.

GAëL TURINE (see http://www.timeinturkey.org/?p=photographer&l=23

[…]

Source : Sunday’s Zaman 

See also : Website of Gael Turine

 

« Turkey has a star role in more than just TV drama » – The National

The President, Sheikh Khalifa, and his Turkish counterpart Abdullah Gul at a ceremony in the capital during the Turkish leader’s visit last month. Mustafa Oztartan / Turkish Presidency Press Office / AP Photo. Source : The National

by Thomas Seibert

« During a recent visit to the UAE, Abdullah Gul, Turkey’s president, was confronted with an unexpected request.

« Please tell us how the Turkish soap operas on television will end. Otherwise, we will not be able to pry our women away from their TV sets, » Mr Gul quoted his Emirati hosts as saying last week.

Turkish television series have long been popular in the Middle East. Yet they are one reason why Turkey topped a recent poll of most admired nations in the region.

In the survey, carried out by the Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (Tesev), 78 per cent of those polled in 16 countries the Middle East had a very or somewhat favourable opinion of Turkey. The UAE was second with 70 per cent.

In the case of Turkey, respondents said it was a regional model because of its democratic system, economic development and Muslim identity. Three-out-of-four of those surveyed also said they had seen a Turkish television soap – a testament the country’s expanding influence, said Gokce Percinoglu.

« TV series form a part of Turkey’s soft power, » said Ms Percinoglu, an analyst at Tesev, an independent think tank.

Not all Turks were impressed with the survey’s findings.

They said that the country’s high favourability ratings across the region – like the much-touted « Turkish model » – were both soft and misleading.

On the one hand, maintaining Turkey’s positive image depended on democratic progress in the country, they said. On the other hand, its reputation is tarnished by limits on media freedom and a hardening of fronts in the long-running Kurdish conflict.

« More democratisation is the biggest chance for Turkey » to keep improving the favourable perception of the country in the region, Mensur Akgun, a co-author of the Tesev study, said. « But a military intervention or authoritarian tendencies of a civilian government would be risks. »

The government of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the prime minister, has been accused of overseeing the arrest of about 100 journalists and an increasing number of university students and of abandoning efforts to solve the Kurdish conflict by democratic means. The government rejects the accusations.

Kemal Kilicdaroglu, the leader of the secularist opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), wrote in Monday’s Washington Post that Turkey under Mr Erdogan could not be a model for the Middle East.

« Turkey today is a country where people live in fear and are divided politically, economically and socially. Our democracy is regressing in terms of the separation of powers, basic human rights and freedoms and social development and justice, » Mr Kilicdaroglu said.

The Tesev poll was conducted by telephone and by in-person interviews between October and December last year among 2,323 people in the UAE, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Tunisia, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar, Yemen and Libya.

According to the survey, 77 per cent of respondents thought Turkey had a positive effect on peace in the Middle East. Another 71 per cent thought Turkey should play a bigger role in the region, 67 per cent said Turkey was a « successful combination of Islam and democracy », and 61 per cent of people in the Middle East considered Turkey a possible model for the region.

Support for the Turkish model is highest in Libya, Tunisia and Egypt, Tesev said, three countries that overthrew their long-time regimes during the Arab Spring and were visited by Mr Erdogan last year. Support for Turkey is lowest in Syria, reflecting deteriorating ties between Ankara and Damascus over the violence of Syrian government forces against protesters.

The main reason people regard Turkey as a model are its democratic system (32 per cent). Its strong economy (25 per cent) and its identity as a Muslim country (23 per cent) were also at the top of the poll.

While political and economic factors play vital roles in Turkey’s image, the poll also found strong cultural influences, especially its soaps. Murat Yetkin, a columnist, wrote in the newspaper Hurriyet Daily News that Turkish soaps were so popular in the Middle East « because they show that to live a modern and open life in a modern society is possible », adding that « Turkish soap operas give messages of hope that a modern political, social and economic life can be lived by Turks, as well as by Arab viewers ».

The role of cultural factors such as television shows was hard to quantify, « but the influence is there », Mr Akgun said.

For Zayed University students, that seems indisputable.

When Mr Gul, Turkey’s president, met them during his recent visit to the UAE, they asked about Muhtesem Yuzyil, or Magnificent Century, a Turkish TV series about the life of Suleiman the Magnificent, an Ottoman sultan of the 16th century.

« They are all following that show, » he later told reporters. »

Source : The National

Reports : RATEM

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SOME QUOTES FROM RATEM REPORT

Televizyon

– 2009 ylna göre toplam televizyon reklam yatrmlar içindeki dalmda 2010 ylnda bölgesel televizyon kanallar dnda tüm yayn lisans türleri alannda reklam girdisi art olmutur. Bir önceki yla göre televizyon lisans türlerinin tümünde ortalama % 43 bir art olmasna karn, bölgesel televizyon reklam yatrmlarnda % 66.92 gibi çok yüksek bir oranla düüyaanmtr.

– 24 ulusal televizyon 1 milyar 611 milyon TL’nin üzerinde bir reklam yatrmn paylarken, 15 bölgesel televizyon 2.36 milyon TL’lik bir pazar payn paylamakta ve yine 210 yerel televizyon kanal 8.73 milyon TL’lik bir reklam yatrmn almaktadr.

– Televizyon yayncl pazarnda ulusal kanallarn baskn bir etkinlii bulunmaktadr. 24 ulusal kanaln toplam televizyon reklam yatrmlar içindeki pay geçen yla göre yükselerek % 88.39’a ulamtr. Buna karlk 15 bölgesel ve 210 yerel yaynn toplam televizyon reklam pay 0.61’e gerilemitir. Bir önceki yl bu pay % 1.20 seviyesindeydi.

– Küresel televizyon reklam yatrmlar bakmndan ABD 50 milyar dolarn üzerinde ürettii gelirle dier ülkelerle kyaslanamayacak bir düzeye sahip bulunuyor. Almanya, Fransa, ngiltere ve talya gibi ülkeler 4 milyar ABD dolarnn üstünde reklam yatrmlaryla öne çkan Avrupa ülkeleri. Türkiye ise 932 milyon dolar televizyon reklam yatrmlarna sahip. Kii ba televizyon reklam yatrm bakmndan ABD, Japonya, Avustralya, talya gibi ülkeler öne çbarken, ngiltere, Fransa ve Almanya gibi ülkelerde 60 ABD dolarnn üstünde bir rakam olumakta, Türkiye’nin TV reklam yatrmlar kii bana 12.85 olarak gerçeklemektedir.

Reports : KEA


SOME QUOTES FROM KEA REPORTS

« Very few economic sectors have revealed as much economic potential in China and the EU as the cultural and creative industries (CCIs) have over the past few years. China is leading Asia in the development of a creative economy. Its cultural sector records € 50.32 billion of value added, contributes to 2.45% of Chinese GDP, registering growth 6.4% higher than growth of the general economy. European CCIs are worth 2.6% of the EU’s GDP and generate a turnover of more than € 654 billion (2003), much more than that generated by the car manufacturing industry (€ 271 billion in 2001) and by ICT manufacturers (€ 541 billion in 2003).

The insufficient enforcement of IPR, the lack of IP understanding as a tool to foster trade transactions, together with the size of the cultural operators – SMEs with little access to foreign markets – as well as the lack of political awareness on the economic importance of the creative industries, are the main structural reasons for insufficient trade relationships between Europe and China in the cultural and creative sectors.

Nevertheless CCIs are important drivers of innovation in other industries and societies. They contribute to tourism and the development of the ICT sector, which is hungry for content. Culture also contributes to social cohesion. The development of cultural industries and creativity is intrinsically linked with brand strategies. Today, competitiveness rests on the ability to create emotional ties with consumers that go beyond the price or the functionality of products. Aesthetic, meaning, social significance are key aspects of the experience economy. Culture, creative industries and intellectual property are key drivers of this intangible economy. » […]

« It therefore becomes an imperative for industry to meet and to create new kinds of demand that are not based merely on the functionality of a product but are instead rooted in individual and collective aspiration. In this new paradigm, marketing and services are as important as production. This requires creative skills and thoughts as productivity gains at manufacturing level are no longer sufficient to establish a competitive advantage. Culture-based creativity is a powerful means of overturning norms and conventions with a view to standing out amid intense economic competition. Creative people and artists are key because they develop ideas, metaphors and messages which help to drive social networking and experiences. » […]

Creativity is a process continuously shaped and stimulated (or constrained) by human, social, cultural and institutional factors. It is proposed to establish a Creativity Index (with a set of 32 indicators) whose aim is to assess the creative environment in EU Member States and to enable the development of a creative ecology in Europe through art and culture. » […]

« The study on the contribution of culture to creativity was prepared for the European Commission (Directorate-General for Education and Culture). It demonstrates the impact of culture and art on creativity, a major factor of economic growth and a vector of social and technological innovation.

The assignment lasted 11 months between May 2008 and April 2009. It was managed by KEA European Affairs (KEA) a Brussels based consultancy which specialises in the cultural, media and entertainment sectors. For this assignment KEA set up a consortium composed of Burns Owens Partnership (BOP) and Professor Roberto Travaglini. »

The European Creativity Index (ECI) is a new statistical framework for illustrating and measuring the interplay of various factors that contribute to the growth of creativity in the European Union. As other indicators it measures the performance of a phenomenon using a set of indicators which highlight some of the key features of that phenomenon. It is inspired by existing indexes concerning creativity, innovation and economic performance but introduces elements that are more specifically related to arts and culture.

A focus on the cultural dimension of creativity implies taking into consideration a number of factors, many of which are usually not included in other indexes. These include, but are not limited to: education in art schools, cultural employment, cultural offering, cultural participation, technology penetration, regulatory and financial support to creation, economic contribution of creative industries. We group these indicators in six pillars of creativity :

Openness and diversity ; Social environment ; Human capital ; Creative outputs ; Technology ; Institutional environment

[…] « The interdependence between the cultural & creative sector and ICT

Broadband penetration has grown exponentially over the last years and broadband uptake is continuing. The diffusion of wireless Internet connections and the mass adoption of 3G mobile phones have turned into a reality the promise of being connected “anywhere, anytime”. The switch-over from analogue to digital broadcasting has already happened (for radio) or is foreseen for the years to come (for TV).[…]

The growth of creative content and the expansion of the ICT sector are the two sides of a same coin.

Technology and in particular the growing diffusion and importance of the Internet is the major driver for growth in the creative media and Internet industry (provided the issue of piracy is properly addressed). The impact on media consumption has been huge in recent years and it will be the major factor for the sector in the future. At the same time creative content is a key driver for ICT uptake. The consultancy firm PriceWaterhouseCoopers estimates that spending on ICT-related content will account for 12% of total increase in global entertainment and media spending until 2009.[…]

Creative hubs and the contribution of culture and creativity to local development

Firstly, the characteristics of cultural and creative goods are that they cater essentially for a local audience, its languages and cultures. This makes it difficult for the production of cultural goods and services to shift to other continents. Therefore off-shoring is less developed than in other sectors of the economy (even at manufacturing level). Job losses in the cultural & creative sector tend to be the result of restructuring, for example due to new forms of distribution and the emergence of new business models. Because of this characteristic (non-delocalisation), and given that Europe is a major producer of intellectual property assets in the world, it would be well advised to try and make the most out of this potential to boost its economy.

Secondly, there is a competitive race to attract talent and creators (“the creative class”) to localised environments supporting the clustering of creativity and innovation skills. Europe risks experiencing a talent drain in sectors such as video games and cinema attracted abroad by better conditions, essentially financial.

Moreover, culture and innovation play a crucial role in helping regions attract investment, creative talents and tourism. Paradoxically, whereas we are living at a time where information technologies have abolished distance and time constraints, “physical location” and the “socialisation” factor remain decisive for economic success. The “location market” is a reality. Cities and regions are competing to attract foreign direct investment and creative talents. In order to succeed they need to attach several new strings to their bows: diversified cultural offerings, quality of life and life style. Culture has become an important soft location factor and a key factor for boosting local and regional attractiveness. » […]