“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DiCaprio and other Western actors, which used to decorate the walls of barber shops until a few years ago, have now been replaced by posters of Turkish actors.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