« TRT mirrors history of Turkey’s broadcasting at a new museum » – Hürriyet Daily News

AA Photo. Source : Hürriyet

« A newly opened museum in Ankara reveals the history of Turkish broadcasting. The facility, opened by state-owned television TRT, displays all materials relating to broadcasting from Turkey’s past, and functions as a repository of the country’s heritage

Turkey’s state-owned television TRT is displaying its long sojourn in broadcasting for the first time with a new museum in Ankara.

The Museum of Broadcasting History TRT in the country’s capital displays old microphones, current virtual studios, outfits from the past, cars driven by the founder of the Turkish Republic, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, as well as many materials used in radio programs and television series.

The museum, which was made possible by the labor of more than 200 workers and four years of work, was recently opened with a visit by President Abdullah Gül.

Through documents that have acquired great pertinence throughout Turkey’s history, the museum depicts the transition from radio to television in a step-by-step fashion.

The entrance welcomes visitors with film-mounting machines, the microphone through which Atatürk made his 10th-anniverary speech (10. Yıl Nutku), hand-made voice recording machines, as well as posters. In the same area, which takes visitors on a journey through history, visitors can also watch programs from previous years on monitors. […]

The museum is also home to a drama studio, a television studio, television exhibit hall, animation section, education hall and a corner for children. The lower floor of the museum displays more than 50,000 dresses and accessories worn by the leading stars of actors and actresses of historical productions such as “Yaprak Dökümü” (The Fall of Leaves), “Aşk-ı Memnu” (Forbidden Love). […]

 Source : Hürriyet

« Amid Ottoman series row, Gül welcomes history in TV shows » – Today’s Zaman

« Turkish President Abdullah Gül has hailed depictions of history in TV shows and movies, adding his voice to recent debates over whether the depiction of history by artistic circles distorts society’s perceptions about certain historical incidents and figures.

“The fact that historical events or people are being dealt with in movies or TV series is a welcome development,” Gül said during the annual Presidential Grand Awards in Culture and Arts on Thursday.

The president stated that history, especially the Ottoman era, has in recent years become a subject of curiosity and interest for people and that’s why we see historical events and figures being more frequently portrayed in TV series, films and stories.

“It is important to take lessons from history. As the Turkish saying goes, ‘history repeats itself’,” Gül further stated.

The debate on TV shows based on history was sparked by remarks from Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who severely criticized “Muhteşem Yüzyıl” (Magnificent Century), a historical soap opera on Turkish networks centered on the intrigues of the Ottoman Palace. Those who criticize the series say it portrays şehzades, or the children of the sultan, as indulged only in sensual pleasures.

Erdoğan feels that the series undermines the golden age of Turkish history, as it portrays Ottoman Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent, known as Kanuni in Turkish, who reigned from his coronation in 1520 to his death in 1566, in a way conservatives in Turkey say is skewed.

Erdoğan not only lashed out at the show but also at its producers, as well as the owner of the network that runs it. “We know no such Kanuni. He spent 30 years of his life on horseback [as opposed to the life of indulgence portrayed in the series]. I publicly condemn the directors of that show and the owners of the television station. We have warned the authorities about this. I expect the judiciary to make the right decision.”

The series has been running for two years. Erdoğan and other government representatives have occasionally expressed their annoyance with it, but this was the first time Erdoğan called on the judiciary to act against the show, sparking a major controversy about free speech in Turkey. »

Source : Today’s Zaman

« 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

« Turkish soap operas topic of meeting with Arab officials » – Hürriyet Daily News

Period drama ‘Muhteşem Yüzyıl’ is one of the most popular productions in Turkey. (Source : Hürriyet)

« President Abdullah Gül said Turkish soap operas were the focal point of the meetings with officials of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which broadcasts Turkish soaps on TV.

“They asked me what will happen at the end of the Turkish series,” Gül said, “and said their wives were always sitting in front of the televisions for the shows.”

Gül said it was important that another culture liked Turkish television series. Gül also said this was about having the same taste in cultural issues. Common cultural values and common history increase interest in the Turkish series, he said.

The Turkish president also met with Zayed University students. He said the students told him they all watched the Turkish series “Muhteşem Yüzyıl” (Magnificent Century).

The Turkish TV series “Muhteşem Yüzyıl,” which has become one of the most popular productions in Turkey, increasing people’s interest in Ottoman history, will begin to be broadcast throughout the world this month.

“Muhteşem Yüzyıl” was introduced to the world last year during the MIPTV Television Fair in Cannes. The series drew great interest from many international channels and will now be distributed in 40 countries, 22 of which are in the Middle East.

Turkey earned more than $60 million last year from exporting TV series. More than 100 Turkish TV series were watched in over 20 countries in 2011. »

Source: Hürriyet Daily News

 

« Turkey approves broadcasting law on foreign ownership » – Sabah

Source : Sabah

« Turkey’s parliament approved late on Tuesday a law doubling to 50 percent the amount of broadcasters that foreigners can own, opening the way for more acquisitions from abroad.

Foreign investor interest in the country’s fast-growing media sector is expected to increase as a result of the legislation.

The foreign ownership article was approved individually on Jan 6 and the whole package of legislation was voted through on Tuesday evening.

Under the law, foreigners will be able to become partners in a maximum of two media institutions.

It also opens the way for broadcasting in foreign languages and dialects. The state broadcaster already has a Kurdish language channel.

Turkish media group Dogan Yayin, which owns major television stations as well as mass circulation newspapers such as Hurriyet and Milliyet, is in the process of selling assets.

U.S. private equity fund KKR, Time Warner and private equity fund Texas Pacific Group are among shortlisted bidders for assets in Dogan Yayin, which is embroiled in a legal battle over massive tax fines.

The ruling AK Party tried to reform foreign ownership rules in 2005 but the bill was vetoed by the former president.

The current president Abdullah Gul is a former AK Party member, and has a track record of approving legislation passed by the AKP-dominated parliament. »

Source : Sabah

« Turkey in move to allow 50% foreign TV ownership » – Sabah

Source : Sabah

« Turkey’s parliament approved on Thursday legislation allowing foreigners to own 50 percent of Turkish broadcasters, doubling the limit and paving the way for more acquisitions from abroad.

Voting was continuing on other articles of the broadcasting law in parliament.

The law is expected to shift investors’ attention to buyouts in Turkey’s fast-growing media industry. Turkey’s media sector is dominated by Dogan Yayin (DYHOL.IS), which owns major television stations as well as mass circulation newspapers such as Hurriyet and Milliyet.

Dogan Yayin, embroiled in a legal battle against crippling tax fines, plans to sell its assets and has put bids from Time Warner and two U.S. private equity funds, KKR (KKR.N) and TPG [TPG.UL], on a shortlist of potential buyers for the media group’s assets, excluding the flagship Hurriyet daily, sources familiar with the deal told Reuters on Wednesday.

The move is « positive for Dogan Group, » said broker Seker Yatirim in a report to clients after the approval.

Dogan Yayin is also preparing to sell its flagship Hurriyet (HURGZ.IS) daily newspaper separately, another source close to the process told Reuters, adding investment bank Goldman Sachs will invite initial bids by Feb. 1.

Hurriyet shares rallied as much as 15 percent on Wednesday and closed 13.4 percent higher at 2.11 lira. The stock jumped another 4.3 percent on Thursday at 1530 GMT close of trading, and Dogan Yayin shares advanced 5.4 percent.

The ruling, pro-business AK Party, tried to reform foreign ownership rules in 2005 but the bill was vetoed by the former president.

The current president, Abdullah Gul, is a former AK Party member, and has a track record of approving legislation passed by the AKP-dominated parliament.

A young population, coupled with the fastest economic growth in Europe, makes the Turkish media market attractive to investors. « 

Source : Sabah