« Starting with the big success of Foreign Groom (Yabanci Damat) a few years ago, Turkish soap operas have been getting increasingly more popular in Greece. Following the Foreign Groom, Binbir Gece (1001 Nights) was shown from October 2009 on and broke the record by drawing 1.1 million Greek viewers each day. Even on the first day of the World Cup, Binbir Gece captured 30.5 percent of viewers, overshadowing the opening game between France and Uruguay – the first time that a soap opera ever beat the ratings of a soccer match in Greece. In the winter season, additional Turkish soap operas, Forbidden Love (Ask-i Memnu) and Silver (Gumus), will start broadcasting on Greek channels.
The strong interest of Greek viewers in Turkish soap operas is seen as the indication of strong similarity between Greek and Turkish cultures by many. The rapprochement that started between Greece and Turkey in 1999 turned the two countries once enemies into strategic partners. During Turkish Prime Minister’s last visit, Turkey and Greece had a joint cabinet meeting and formed a High Level Cooperation Council between the two countries.
Turkish soap operas have been enjoying great popularity all throughout the Balkans, including but not limited to Serbia, Croatia, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Albania and Bosnia Herzegovina. Lately, some of these series have also started being shown in some Central European countries such as Slovakia and the Czech Republic. This overwhelming interest inevitably increases the interest for Turkey and the Turkish language in the region. »
Source : New York Turkish Club