« 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

« Radical groups campaign against Turkish series in Serbia » – Hürriyet Daily News

« A Serbian radical group has launched a campaign against a Turkish TV series that is currently very popular in Serbia, Anatolia news agency reported.

“Nashi 1389” members have been putting up posters around Belgrade to protest Turkish series in general, but most specifically “Muhteşem Yüzyıl” (The Magnificent Century), which the group claims « shows ruler Süleyman as a positive historic personality. »

The posters show Süleyman and a national Serbian hero. The captions contain insults against the former while the latter is praised by the movement.

“Nashi 1389” is known to be the current successor to the Chetniks, a nationalistic organization that took part in the killings in Bosnia between 1992 and 1995, as well as in both world wars.

Turkish TV series are now extremely popular in the region. »

Source : Hürriyet Daily News

« Turkey’s image improves in Serbia as mutual relations advance » – Sunday’s Zaman

 » Increasing diplomatic and economic relations between Turkey and Serbia in recent years have boosted Turkey’s positive image within Serbian society, making the cultural similarities between two nations more visible.

Cooled relations between Turkey and Serbia at the time of the 1992-1995 Bosnian War and of Kosovo War in 1999 changed into intense political and economic relations over the last decade, following the end of ultra-nationalist Milosevic rule in Serbia in 2000. For the last 10 years, Turkish-Serbian relations have been getting closer and closer considering the diplomacy traffic and various trade and investment agreements between the two countries. Advanced diplomatic relations between the two countries are also reflected in Serbian society as Turkey and its culture have recently begun to draw more attention by Serbian people. […]

Turkish soap operas, for instance, with their high ratings, have been their own form of diplomacy for a long time in Serbia. Tamara Çiroviç — who is a host and editor’s assistant for morning talk shows on the Serbian Kopernikus TV station — confirmed that these soap operas, now broadcast on eight different Serbian channels, have already surpassed their previously most-watched Brazilian and American counterparts in TV ratings. Among the most favorite Turkish soap operas in Serbia are “Binbir Gece” (A Thousand and One Nights), “Yaprak Dökümü” (Falling Leaves) and “Hanımın Çiftliği” (Lady’s Farm). […] »

Source : Sunday’s Zaman

 

« The rise of Turkey in the Balkans » – SETimes.com

« Over the past decade, Turkey has carried out a multi-dimensional and multi-regional foreign policy. With its EU membership prospects in limbo, the country has not only looked to the east, but also towards its « near abroad » in the Balkans.

EU regional player Greece’s increasing social-financial problems provide ample room for Turkey — whose economy now ranks twelfth in the world, with a GNP of $10,000 per person — to take control of the regional rudder.

« After Yugoslavia’s disintegration, Turkey’s strategic interest returned to the Balkans, also a former Ottoman territory. This time around, the influence is economic and cultural but it soon will become geopolitical, » military-political analyst Petar Shkrbina told SETimes. « Erdogan knows that Europe needs Turkey and not the other way around. The main networks of gas and oil pipelines will go through Turkey. »

The Balkan countries, primarily Macedonia and Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), but increasingly Serbia as well, have achieved significant political co-operation with Ankara. In the past several years, the economic ties have strengthened as Turkish investors eye the opportunity to secure a foothold in the Balkans marketplace.

Analysts are unanimous that the pan-European corridor No. 10, which will connect the Balkan countries with the rest of Europe, will command the economic attention of Turkey. The corridor’s left wing will secure a transportation connection between Turkey and the Balkans, and Turkey and the EU.

Though Turkey is keen to develop bonds with Muslim communities in the Balkans, it says it aims to engage all ethnicities and religions in an effort to increase stability in its neighbourhood.

« Turkey has no imperialist ambitions but is trying to help the neighbouring countries as it can, » Turkish Ambassador to Serbia Ali Riza Colak said, answering charges that Ankara is interfering in Serbia’s internal affairs after a senior military delegation visited Novi Pazar, in Serbia’s Muslim-dominated Rashka (or Sandzak) region.

Rashka remains a source of tension in Ankara-Belgrade relations because the Serbs widely believe local Muslim leaders try to obtain autonomy with the help of Turkey, and many Muslims there identify with BiH.

In response, Ambassador Riza Colak says « Sandzak is the bridge for co-operation between the two countries, and Belgrade must understand the sensitivity of the people in this region. »

Turkey-BiH relations are particularly important for the region. Erdogan’s election victory statement last month, in which he said his AKP’s victory would benefit Sarajevo as much as it would Istanbul, triggered harsh reactions in Republika Srpska.

The Serb member of BiH’s tri-member presidency, Nebojsha Radmanovic, said that such statements would cause political problems between BiH’s two entities and could lead to new divisions among the three constituent peoples.

« While Bosniak authorities in Sarajevo see a positive effect from Turkey’s role in BiH, Serbian politicians there are reserved and do not accept any political role by Ankara in the Balkans, » Shkrbina tells SETimes.

« Erdogan’s open ambitions to spread the ‘Green Diagonal’ [spread of Islamic influence through a set of connected countries with Muslim populations] in this space have their own limits. Neither the illegal government of the Muslim-Croat federation will help him to do that nor the political pressures on Croats in central Bosnia, » RS Vice President Emil Vlajki said.

Despite any lingering Serbian nationalist suspicion, Turkey has been playing a constructive moderator role by bringing together the presidents of BiH and Serbia to encourage a policy of dialogue and regional security.

The most recent example is the July 6th visit of Serbian President Tadic to Sarajevo, which was secured at a summit among all parties in Istanbul last April. Serbia now pledges to guarantee BiH’s integrity and wants to close all open questions.

Turkey has also expressed its desire for BiH and Serbia to enter the Euro-Atlantic community through membership in the EU and NATO.

Although several political issues remain an obstacle to better relations, both Ankara and Belgrade aim to smooth over political differences through greater economic co-operation and interdependence.

For example, Belgrade offered Turkish Airlines a meeting in July to chart a strategic co-operation plan to address long-standing problems facing JAT Airways. Analysts expect the final, positive outcome to be the forming of a joint national airline.

Turkish economic activity extends throughout the region. The Turkish company TAV has already invested 200m euro in rebuilding Macedonia’s airports. Since March 1st, the Skopje and Ohrid airports are under TAV control for the next 20 years. TAV’s executives view Macedonia as a Southeast European hub and have announced they will build a new airport in eastern Macedonia.

In addition, Turkey’s Shishe Dzam company has announced its interest in a strategic investment of 150m euro in two factories in Macedonia to produce glass.

Politically, Turkey will continue to be Macedonia’s steadfast supporter in Euro-Atlantic integration, advocating membership under Macedonia’s name despite the longstanding dispute with Greece.

But the relations have a deeper cultural and historical context in Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey, who spent his youth in Macedonia and was educated at an Ottoman military school in Bitola, adding an emotional dimension to how Ankara — and the Turkish people — view Macedonia.

A joint celebration of Ataturk’s life and achievement is now held annually in Bitola. Such events contribute to increased tourism in both directions. Turkey’s summer destinations and Macedonia’s mountain and nature potential are attractive to both peoples, and there has been a large increase in tourist agency activity in the past decade.

An important element of Turkey’s « soft power » is the increasing number of soap operas and other TV shows that have conquered audiences throughout the Balkans. In virtually every Balkan state, Turkish shows are breaking records, as well as the long-held prejudice against Islam.

« They are very professionally produced, and they promote not luxury and glamour, but also traditional Islamic customs during marriage and funerals. The series are the cheapest but most effective approach to spread Turkish influence in the region, » Shkrbina said. »

Source : SETimes.com