“In January 2003, the TV series “Kurtlar Vadisi” (Valley of the Wolves) had just begun to be broadcast. It quickly became popular thanks to its references to politics as well action scenes Turkish viewers had not been much accustomed to in locally produced series. There are many TV series in Turkey that appeal to all sorts of viewer demographics. Among them are historical series, political ones, family series, action series and comedies. These series reach and are watched by not only large domestic audiences but many viewers outside of Turkey as well.
“Valley of the Wolves” wound up being so popular that it was followed by two full-length movies, featuring cast members from the TV show. “Valley of the Wolves: Iraq” took as its basis a real event that occurred in Iraq in 2003, when American soldiers held 11 Turkish soldiers captive. The film was shot on a $14 million budget, making it the most expensive movie shot in Turkey at the time. This was followed by “Valley of the Wolves: Palestine,” which put the spotlight on a multinational flotilla of ships, headed by the Mavi Marmara, a ship Israeli commandos attacked in international waters.
What Turkey’s various TV series have done is to turn the country into the Bollywood of Eastern Europe. The 3.5 million Turks living in Germany follow these series very closely. And regardless of the fact that standard TV series are not generally programs I choose to watch on a regular basis, the fact is that these Turkish productions are very well done. Teams of professionals work on these series to do the best job they can in the shortest amount of time possible. The popularity of “Valley of the Wolves” became more and more clear to me when I saw how many people were gathering in coffeehouses and Internet cafés to watch it. And these days — the new season has just begun — I can already sense the excitement this causes in the people around me.
GAëL TURINE (see http://www.timeinturkey.org/?p=photographer&l=23 )
Source : Sunday’s Zaman
See also : Website of Gael Turine