“The Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV) released the results of a survey yesterday in Istanbul, about how Turkey was perceived across the Middle East and North Africa. The survey was carried out between Oct. 19 and Dec. 15, 2011 among 2,323 people in 16 countries, namely Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Tunisia, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar, the UAE, Yemen and Libya.[…]
That explains why the Turkish President was subject to questions about Turkish TV serials by the leaders of United Arab Emirates earlier this week during his visit. As he was trying to tell them about the strength of Turkish banks in order to attract more investment, his counterparts wanted to know how the serials would end, because their wives watching the series’ at home were wondering – as if Gül would know about this in advance.
Turkish soap operas are so favorable in the world of the Arab Spring because they show that to live a modern and open life in a modern society is possible. They tell stories about Istanbul, Ankara, Antalya. They tell the stories of ordinary Turkish people who can go to Friday prayers and observe their religion freely – like people in Cairo, Baghdad and Tehran – but they can also get social, with men and women together, dancing, falling in love, flirting and even drinking alcohol from time to time.
That is why Turkish soap operas are considered a social catalyst, whereas Al-Jazeera is considered the political catalyst in the media dimension of the Arab Spring.
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. It is a message of hope. […]”
Source : Hürriyet Daily News