« Turkish TV series are driven by what will appeal to women, according to TV and film producers meeting at an equal-opportunity committee in Parliament.
“We have rating concerns. We need to appeal to women at first,” Ay Productions official Mithat Topaç said yesterday at the Role of the Media in Social Gender Equality subcommittee meeting of the Committee on Equality of Opportunity for Women and Men. “If we can succeed it, a TV series will continue.”
The committee gathered under the direction of Justice and Development Party (AKP) deputy Zeynep Karahan Uslu.
Many companies do not produce detective series because they will not sell, said a representative from Focus Film, Mehmet Erişti. “We exploit the drama of women, and they feel safer when they see other women’s dramas in those series.” Some 31 percent of managers in Turkey are women, Uslu said, noting that women’s role in society had changed.
In response, Uslu said the subcommittee had come together to discuss how this social change could be reflected in TV series.
Violence exists in daily life, she said, but added that it was important to show it in TV productions and films with a certain goal.
“For example, we don’t see in TV series a man who has gotten a restraining order from his home,” she said, noting that rape scenes could also be made more aesthetical.
According to the committee’s research, there is one unemployed man versus nine unemployed women in the most popular eight TV series, she said.
Erler Film Company representative Nuran Kuran said most screenwriters were female and added that they depicted positive examples of women’s positions in social life in her company’s productions.
“But we cannot go deep into their problems because the public would get bored,” she said, adding that they never discriminated on the basis of language, religion or gender in their productions.
Kuran also claimed that Tukish TV series had created the Arab Spring. She said, “Erler Film’s owner Türker İnanoğlu had a guest from Egypt 1.5 years ago. ‘The reason for the Arab Spring is meanly your TV series. They see that there is democracy and everything is very beautiful in Turkey. And they began thinking ‘why are we like this’.”
At Ay Productions, three of the four screenwriters are women while two of the four directors are also women, Topaç said. He also said the TV series “Fatmagül’ün Suçu Ne?” (What is Fatmagül’s Crime?) had received reaction, especially because of its famous rape scene. “But then we saw how a rape victim woman returns to life.” «