« Pushing Back the Boundaries of Good Taste. Taboos in Turkish Television » – The Majalla

Source : The Majalla

« Are Turkish series as taboo-breaking as the western media (and Turkish conservatives) make them out to be? As the content on Turkish television becomes increasingly liberalized, claims that these images are changing the status of women in the Arab world are growing. But liberals in Turkey are skeptical that television can have such an effect.

Homosexuality and sexual violence on prime time. Blockbuster soap operas telling convoluted stories of forbidden love. There is plenty of shocking content on Turkish television screens these days.

A month ago, a third of Turkish television viewers tuned in to watch one of the country’s most popular young actresses being gang-raped in the first episode of a new series.

A couple of days later a television channel—bought recently by a businessman close to the former Islamist government—broadcast the first ever Turkish-made soap opera to show two men in bed together, naked(…) »

Source : The Majalla


« Ottoman series rules TV ratings in Turkey » – Hürriyet Daily News

"Muhteşem Yüzyıl". Source : Hürriyet

« Despite drawing massive reaction from conservative circles and a warning from Turkish media watchdog, ‘Muhteşem Yüzyıl,’ a soap opera based on events that occurred during the reign of Süleyman I, continues to be the most-watched television series » (…)

Source : http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=the-8216magnificent8217-hits-top-ratings-2011-01-14

« Turkey’s soap opera diplomacy  » – Public Radio International

« Soap operas from Turkey are forging trust and curiosity among residents of Bulgaria, its long-time foe.

Mistrust between Bulgarians and Turks runs deep. The Ottoman Turkish Empire ruled over Bulgaria for some 500 years. Some still look back to 1876, when Ottoman forces committed atrocities against Bulgarians, before the country’s independence in 1908. Today, Matthew Brunwasser reports for PRI’s The World that many Bulgarians have begun to warm to Turkey’s influence because of a not-so-secret weapon: soap operas.

Turkish soap operas are hugely popular in Bulgaria today. One of the main Bulgarian channels shows Turkish soaps six and a half hours a day.

« We are bigots when it comes to Turkey, » Atanas Harizanov, a resident of Perushtitsa, Bulgaria, told PRI’s The World. Perushtitsa was nearly wiped out in the 1876 uprising, but even there, residents are warming to the Turkish soap operas. « They are changing the consciousness of the people of Perushtitsa, despite the deeply buried pain of the past, » Harizanov said. « I don’t believe that its hatred anymore. But little by little, the Turkish soap operas are building a bridge of trust and curiosity. »

Bulgaria used to consider its southern neighbor backward and strictly Islamic, Brunwasser reports. The shows are changing that by showing glamorous Istanbul locations and attractive characters living modern lifestyles. […] »

Source : Public Radio International

« RTÜK Punished Thoughts on « Genocide » Voiced by Turkish Writer  » – Bianet

« The Radio and TV Supreme Council suspended the broadcast of a program on Haber Türk because writer Nişanyan thoughts on the « Armenian Genocide » supposedly exceeded the limits of criticism. Also the series « Lady’s farm » was found « against the Turkish family structure ».

The Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK) decided to impose a broadcasting ban on the Turkish television station Haber Türk on the grounds of writer Sevan Nişanyan’s thoughts on the « Armenian genocide ». Nişanyan was guest at the program « One to one » hosted by Fatih Altaylı and had referred to the killing of a huge number of Armenians by the Ottoman Empire in 1915.

RTÜK took the decision on 15 June and notified Haber Türk on 21 June. The Council indicated that Nişanyan, one of several guests in the program, « exceeded the limits of criticism » with his statements that allegedly « humiliated the Republic of Turkey ».(…) »

Source : Bianet


« Turks Put Twist in Racy Soaps » – New York Times

From left, Kivanc Tatlitug, Selcuk Yontem and Beren Saat in a scene from “Ask-i Memnu,” the top-rated series in Turkey. Source : Doğan TV & New York Times

« […] Just another day at the office for the stars of “Gumus,” the Turkish soap opera that during its two-year run here on Kanal D has offered Turks not only the daytime-television miracle of sexual foreplay, but the standard sudsy compendium of shotgun weddings, kidnappings, car accidents and crazy plot twists like the one when the dead girlfriend of the aforementioned married dreamboat turns out to be alive and the mother of his illegitimate baby.

Usual stuff to American aficionados of the genre. But Turkish television has given the soap a fresh twist by making the connivers, kidnappers and canoodlers Muslims. And it is Arab audiences, even more than Turks, who have been swept off their feet.

Led by “Gumus” (“Noor” in Arabic), a wave of Turkish melodramas, police procedurals and conspiracy thrillers — “Yaprak Dokumu,” “Kurtlar Vadisi,” “Asmali Konak,” “Ihlamurlar Altinda” and now the steamy “Ask-i Memnu,” the top-rated series in Turkey (think Madame Bovary on the Bosporus) — are making their way onto Arab televisions, wielding a kind of soft power. […] »

Source : New York Times

« Turkish Parliament discusses bill on RTÜK amid opposition » – Hürriyet Daily News

« A government-backed draft on Turkey’s Radio and Television Supreme Council, or RTÜK, will grant the body further authorization over broadcast supervision, according to opposition parties, who accuse the government of trying to control the media. Ruling party officials, however, reject the claims, arguing the motion is part of EU harmonization laws.

The government-led draft bill on Turkey’s television watchdog, or RTÜK, was discussed in Parliament’s Constitution Commission on Wednesday.

Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç, who is also responsible for Turkey’s Radio and Television Supreme Council, or RTÜK, said the bill restructured the board and would bring solutions to the institution’s problems.(…) »

Source : Hürriyet Daily News

« Turkish industry bodies plan new TV ratings committee » – Research-Live

« TURKEY— Three industry associations have joined forces to revamp TIAK, the joint industry committee for TV ratings in Turkey, after the country’s Competition Board ordered the body to restructure.

TIAK was initially given a 90-day deadline to restructure itself, hire professional staff and make its methodology publicly available, having been found by the Competition Board to be “lacking in structure and technical ability”.

That deadline expired yesterday, however TIAK has been given a 60-day extension after the chairman of the Advertising Association (RD), the Association of Advertisers (RVD) and the TV Broadcasters’ Association agreed to establish a new association to replace the existing TIAK set-up.(…) »

Source : Research-Live

« Ratings rift rocks Turkish television industry » – Research-live

« TURKEY— The Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT) has thrown the Turkish TV industry into turmoil with plans to withdraw its channels from the ratings system run by AGB Nielsen, which is commissioned by joint industry committee TIAK.

News of the withdrawal came in a statement published in Turkish, a translation of which was carried by online news site Today’s Zaman.

In its statement, the broadcaster expressed dissatisfaction with the system, having seen its ratings drop consistently since April 2009.

TRT also reiterated claims it had made previously that TIAK had violated the country’s competition regulations. AGB Nielsen was similarly accused by TRT, however the Turkish Competition Board decided in November that there was no evidence or documents to support the allegations that AGB Nielsen was “exploiting its dominant position in ratings measurement by irregularities and false measurements”.(…) »

Source : Research-live.com

« State-owned TRT channels withdraw from rating system » – Today’s Zaman

« The Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT) announced yesterday that its channels will no longer be included in audience measurements provided by AGB Nielsen Media Research, which has been conducting TV audience research in Turkey since 1989.

TRT officials said in a written statement that the Television Audience Research Commission (TİAK), the joint industry committee responsible for awarding the contract for managing Turkey’s TV audience measurement system, has violated competition regulations.(…) »

Source : Today’s Zaman

« Turkish Competition Board decides against AGB Nielsen probe » – Research-live

« TURKEY— The Turkish Competition Board (RK) will not be investigating AGB Nielsen over allegations that the firm exploited its position as the country’s dominant TV ratings provider.

A preliminary investigation launched in September by RK found no evidence or documents to support allegations that “AGB Nielsen was exploiting its dominant position in ratings measurement by irregularities and false measurements”.(…) »

Source : Research-live

« TNS trumps AGB Nielsen in race for Turkish TV ratings contract » – Resarch-live

« TURKEY— AGB Nielsen and Turkey’s TV audience measurement body, TÍAK, have launched a legal investigation after some members of Nielsen’s TV panel reported being offered money to change their viewing habits.

TNS will establish a 3,500 household panel, with each home fitted with the 5000 Series Modular PeopleMeter. The panel will begin reporting data from 2011 and TNS’s InfoSys software will be used for analysis.

In a statement, AGB Nielsen’s Turkey MD Craig Johnson said the firm was “naturally disappointed” to lose the contract, but vowed to “continue to work hard to deliver high quality data and service” until the hand-over date.(…) »

Source : Research-live.com

« AGB Nielsen to investigate Turkish TV tampering » – Research-live

« TURKEY— AGB Nielsen and Turkey’s TV audience measurement body, TÍAK, have launched a legal investigation after some members of Nielsen’s TV panel reported being offered money to change their viewing habits.

Craig Johnson, AGB Nielsen’s managing director in Turkey, told Researchthat some families said they were offered up to 300 Lira a month (approximately £130) to watch certain programmes and switch off during advert breaks.

He said: “We were alerted by one of our households on 10 April that they had been contacted by a third party. We don’t know who this third party is and we’re not going to speculate. We’re going through the due legal process to identify them.”(…) »

Source : Research-live.com

« Kapitalizmi Aramayın! Ne Yerdedir Ne de Gökte! » – Sol

Yazar : Ahmet Alpay Dikmen

« Bugün piknik tüpü almak için tüpçüye gittim. İçeride şöyle bir ortamla karşılaşıyorsunuz: Ortalık pislik içerisinde, oraya buraya yığılmış rengi kaçmış küçüklü büyüklü tüpler. Masanın üzerinde kırık dökük tornavidalar, penseler. Kirli peşkirler, yıkanmamış tabaklar ve içerisinde hala yemek kırıntıları olan alüminyum bir tencere ve dükkanın içine girer girmez burnunuzun direğini sızlatan kesif bir yemek kokusu… Ama, hepsinden önemlisi sürekli yerli dizi gösteren renkli bir televizyon. Herkesin gözü bu televizyonda… Tüpü değiştirirken, parayı alıp para üstü verirken gözler sadece kısacık bir an için televizyondan kaçırılıyor. Para alınıyor, televizyona bir göz atılıyor, para kasaya konuluyor, tekrar televizyona bir göz atılıyor, sonra tekrar kasaya bakıp para üstü aranıyor ve tekrar gözler televizyondaki diziye kayıyor. Sizin yüzünüze bu süreçte bir kez bile bakılmıyor. Aslında, orada o anda dizideki hayat yaşanıyor. Ne o dükkan söz konusu aslında, ne iş ne de müşteri. Tüm bunlar televizyondaki yerli dizileri seyretmek için birer araç. Hayat dizilerde geçiyor. Diziler gerçek hayatı anlamsızlaştırıp kendilerinin ‘gerçek’ olduklarını iddia ediyorlar. Gerçeği alaşağı ediyorlar. Sahte olanı ‘gerçek’ kılıyorlar. Basit hayatların basit anlamları dizilerdeki anlamsızlıklarda anlam buluyor. Dizi dışında yaşanan gerçek, gerçek değil sahte haline dönüşüyor!

Benzer bir sahneyi yine mahallemdeki berberde de her defasında yaşıyorum. Yine her defasında televizyon açık ve yine yerli diziler var. Ama, müşteriye orada biraz daha fazla zaman ayrılıyor. Mecburiyetten!.. Bir favori düzeltiliyor, bir süre diziye bakılıyor. Bu esnada askerden yeni gelmiş, gencecik bir çocuk olan berberimin o an sanki dükkandan kaçtığını hissediyorum. Ben, berber dükkanı, elindeki makas sanki yok oluyor. O an sadece televizyona bakıyor. Sonra birden hızla toparlanıp saçın yanlarını düzeltiyor. Ardından bir süreliğine daha dizide kayboluveriyor.

Bu aralar mahallemdeki esnafın tümünde bu dikkatimi çekiyor. Dükkanlarında birer televizyon ve televizyonda da yerli dizi…. » […]

Source : Sol

« Free Speech Debate Targets Controversial Television Series » – Eurasianet.org

« The recent cancellation of the phenomenally popular Turkish television series Kurtlar Vadisi (Valley of the Wolves) has prompted a growing debate in the country about whether limiting free speech to curb violence and resurgent nationalism is censorship or good government.

For the last few years, Valley of the Wolves, a chronicle of life in Turkey’s criminal underworld, has been an almost unstoppable ratings star. A spin-off movie, which saw the show’s hero doing battle with the United States military in Iraq, ranks as Turkey’s highest-grossing movie ever.

Valley of the Wolves, which was canceled in February one episode into a new run on the privately owned Show TV, tells the story of Polat Alemdar, a patriotic undercover intelligence officer who infiltrates the Turkish mafia, but starts operating in the murky zone where the interests of unsavory elements from the government and organized crime meet. The new season was supposed to deal with the problem of Kurdish terrorism, but many feared that the show’s take on this extremely volatile topic would only fan sectarian tensions in Turkey.(…) »

Source : Eurasianet.com