« Balkan, MENA sales for Kanal D » – C21 Media

« Broadcasters in the Middle East and the Balkans have acquired Turkish drama Kuzey Guney from broadcaster Kanal D.

The soap, created and written by Ece Yörenç and Melek Gençoglu and produced by prodco Ay Yapim, has been acquired by UAE-based regional satcaster Dubai TV and RTV Pink in Serbia. An Iranian distributor has also bagged the show.

The 40×90′ series, which debuted in Turkey last September, follows two brothers who love the same woman. Dogan Media-owned Kanal D’s sales division describes the show as Turkey’s “most popular TV series of this year.”

Another Serbian channel, Prva TV, has also acquired drama Leaf Cast (174×90′), while a French distributor picked up Turkan for French-speaking markets. A distributor in Kazakhstan also bought drama series A Night in June.

The deals continue the recent upswing in demand for Turkish drama around Central and Eastern Europe and the Middle East. In the US, NBC recently acquired the format to Forbidden Love for its Hispanic channel Telemundo.

Kanal D has also unveiled its next big drama for the international market, Kotu Yol, which tells the story of a girl who runs away to be a movie star and find herself in the middle of a love triangle. It debut in Turkey last week. »

Source : C21 Media

Author : Ed Waller

« ATV delves into Mid East history » – C21 Media

« Turkish broadcaster ATV is preparing to air a new historical drama described as the largest production ever to be made in the Middle East.

Omar Ibn Al Khattab (31×60′), coproduced by MBC Group and Qatar TV, charts the life of Khalifeh Omar Ibn Al Khattab and the Islamic empire he built.

ATV acquired the finished programme, which will be dubbed for Turkish viewers.

Fadi Ismail, general manager of MBC Group’s O3 Productions, said: “ATV has shown interest in the series ever since the idea developed, continuing as production started, until they finally gained the broadcasting rights to air the series dubbed in Turkish.”

Mutlu Inan, deputy general manager of ATV, added: “As a Muslim country, Turkey has an appetite for historical series chronicling the lives of our great Islamic leaders. The series Omar has set a perfect example for this kind of programming.”

He predicted a “spectacular performance” during Ramadan this year.

When it was first announced in September 2010, the drama was described by MBC Group chairman Sheikh Waleed Al Ibrahim as the biggest historical TV drama production ever to be made in the region. »

Source : C21 Media

Author : Michael Pickard

 

« Turkish stars Tatlıtuğ and Öden visit Dubai » – Hürriyet Daily News

Kıvanç Tatlıtuğ. Hürriyet Photo

« Kıvanç Tatlıtuğ and Songül Öden, leading actors of the series titled “Noor,” are visiting Dubai to promote the Istanbul Shopping Fest, which will take place between July 9 and 29 this year. This year’s festival will be the second ever festival.

Speaking at a press conference, manager Füsun Sönmez introduced the festival. Tatlıtuğ said he had been visiting Dubai for many years, and added that he was very happy to see the interest in Turkish soap operas in Dubai and the wider Middle East.

Tatlıtuğ said he was proud to present Turkey and was very happy to contribute to the representation of Turkey in other countries as an actor.

He added that he had received a number of film proposals from the Middle East and said, “if the scenario is good, I would like to play in one of the projects.”

Öden agreed that it was very important to see the interest in Turkish series’ in other countries, and said that it helped to keep the relations between two cultures. “We would like to be in front of the audience with better projects. I would like to be a part of an Arabic project.

”The presentation in Dubai was the first stop on the festival’s promotional tour, before the team travels on to Baku in Azerbaijan and Belgrade in Serbia. »

Source : Hürriyet Daily News

« Sudan’s youth trying to look like Turkish actors » – Hürriyet Daily News

Posters of Turkish artists have a positive effect on customers, according to a barbershop owner. They take the place of internationally renowned artists. AA photo . Source : Hürriyet

« With the popularity of Turkish TV series increasing in the Middle East and North Africa every day, Turkish actors are becoming idols in the region.

In all of the barbershops in the Sudanese capital Khartoum, one sees posters of Necati Şaşmaz, who plays Polat Alemdar on the Turkish TV series “Kurtlar Vadisi” (Valley of the Wolves), Kıvanç Tatlıtuğ (Muhaned on “Gümüş,” which is very popular in Arab countries), and Kenan İmirzalıoğlu of the TV series “Ezel.”

Turkish barbershop owners in Sudan are being overwhelmed by Sudanese men who want to have their hair cut like Polat Alemdar, Muhanned, Ezel and also young Turkish singer Barış Akarsu, who was killed in a traffic accident a few years ago. Mehmet Kazan, who owns a barber shop in Khartoum, said that many young people also want to have their hair bleached blond to look more like Tatlıtuğ. He said that he does not recommend blond hair to his customers, but they insist. “Şaşmaz and Tatlıtuğ are very popular in this region. Since we are a Turkish barbershop, customers often ask us if we can do their hair like Turkish actors,” Kazan said.

Posters of artists like Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio and other Western actors, which used to decorate the walls of barber shops until a few years ago, have now been replaced by posters of Turkish actors. Another barbershop owner in the city, Muhammed Hasan, said that posters of Turkish artists have had a positive effect on customers, adding that the interest in Turkish artists is due not only to the popularity of Turkish TV series but also to the good relations between Turkey and Sudan.

Süleyman Çay, who runs a barbershop in one of Khartoum’s most crowded streets, said that characters from Turkish TV series are better known in Sudan than they are in Turkey, adding, “Polat Alemdar, Ezel and Muhaned are the most popular characters with the people of the Middle East and North Africa. Almost all customers ask for haircuts like these actors first. There are people who pose in front of the posters and ask for a style like Polat Alemdar’s.”

One of the customers in Çay’s barbershop, Muaz Hasan, said that the people of Sudan find Turkish TV actors to be more like themselves. “It’s not only in barbershops; you can also see lines from ‘Valley of the Wolves’ on the streets. We in Sudan like and are more interested in Turkey than any other part of the world.” »

Source : Hürriyet Daily News

« The soft power of Turkish television » – SES Türkiye

Songul Oden (right) and Ayca Varlier play in the Turkish soap opera "Noor", which has been a huge hit in the Middle East. (Reuters). Source : SES Türkiye"

By Cigdem Bugdayci for Southeast European Times in Istanbul – 23/07/11

The success of television series outside Turkey signals a re-branding of the country’s image.

The popularity of Turkish television series, from the Balkans to the Middle East, has brought Turkey to an international audience, and is subtly transforming the image of the country abroad.

Since 2001, 65 Turkish television series have been sold abroad, bringing in over 50m dollars to the booming Turkish television industry. Turkish actors and celebrities are now well-known figures in some countries and scenes of Istanbul have drawn tens of thousands of tourists.

According to Izzet Pinto from the film distribution company Global Agency, Turkish series are quite a novelty for a public very much used to watching only American or Latin American TV productions.

« The TV series are a big commercial opportunity for Turkey, » Pinto tells SETimes.

However, more than the millions of dollars in sales, the emergence of Turkey as a popular brand is equally significant. In the Balkans and Middle East, regions traditionally wary of Turkish influence, the soft message of television holds the power the country to re-market itself.

According to a recent Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation report entitled « The Perception of Turkey in the Middle East 2010 », 78% of the respondents said they have watched a Turkish TV series. The report states that the series have become an important part of Turkey’s soft power by creating a lasting influence on Turkey’s image in the region.

Although unplanned, the spread of Turkish television falls neatly into the soft-power strategy of Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu as outlined in his seminal 2001 book « Strategic Depth ».

Davutoglu advocates a pro-active and multi-dimensional foreign policy that sees Turkey’s shared history and culture with former Ottoman lands as a strategic advantage — forming one prong of Turkey’s soft-power strategy.

However, the appeal of Turkish television, mixing emotionally rich images with a sense of well-kept traditionalism, has also received criticism from some conservatives in Turkey who feel the basis of family is being threatened through images of sultry kisses, adultery stories, murder and crime.

According to AKP deputy from Istanbul Halide Incekara, Turkish TV series don’t represent the Turkish family and morals. « The TV series hurt the image of Turkey abroad as they are so full of corrupt storylines and unacceptable behaviors, » she tells SETimes.

On the other hand, Orhan Tekelioglu, a communications professor from Istanbul Bahcesehir University, told SETimes that it is not possible to make any claims on the popularity of TV series without additional research. However, he points out there is actually a strong tendency for the « protection of the family » in the series, which has its roots in the Turkish modernization process.

Tekelioglu also interprets the news about the international spread and success of TV series in the Turkish press in a different manner, telling SETimes, « The sales from the TV series are greeted with ‘hails of victory’ as if coming from ‘an army campaign’ — this must be what they call neo-Ottomanism. »

Source : SES Türkiye