“Turkish dramas receive tourism awards” – Hürriyet Daily News

Culture and Tourism Minister Ertuğrul Günay pose with the producers and actors of some popular Turkish TV dramas at the ceremony. AA photo. Source : Hürriyet

“Producers and actors of Turkey’s popular TV dramas were presented with plaques at a ceremony due to their great contributions to Turish tourism

The producers and actors of Turkish TV dramas, which receive international acclaim and are important in encouraging tourism in the country, were presented plaques recognizing their contributions to Turkey’s promotion at a ceremony held by the Tourist Hotel and Investors Association (TUROB).

In a speech during the ceremony, Culture Minister Ertuğrul Günay, praised those in the sectors of tourism and culture for objectively highlighting the beauty, richness and even the problems of the country to the world. He noted that in 2011 Turkey hosted the sixth-highest number of tourists holding foreign passports, surpassing Britain.

“In 2012, despite problems at our southern borders, we hosted some 32 million foreign tourists. Turkey gets nearly $25 billion in income from tourism. All people in the sector try to promote the country to the world but the most effective promotion is that of culture and arts. As a result of these efforts, the Turkish Culture and Tourism Ministry was chosen as the best tourism organization in Europe last year in Portugal. This is the result of our synergy.”

Günay said the ministry has aimed to support Turkish cinema in recent years, adding that they are preparing to develop a new cinema law. “TV dramas promote Turkey around the world on their own accord. I learned the names of many dramas and their actors while abroad over the years. I heard their names abroad for the first time and wondered about them. Many of my friends abroad joke that they organize their meetings and travels according to our TV dramas. They ask me ‘Is Turkey really so beautiful?’,” he said.

While the state had spent about 5 million Turkish Liras on cinema between 1990 and 2005, he said they have stepped up support to cinema since 2006 as in light of its prominence and influence.

“We have given some 110 million liras of support since 2006. We are working on a new cinema law. I will present it to the Council of Ministers in the coming meetings. We are trying to secure the rights of TV series actors. Once this law is made, we will have a more civilized cinema law.” […]

Popularity of Turkish dramas abroad

TUROB Chairman Timur Bayındır said that Turkish TV dramas are world-class quality and they are proud to see Turkish dramas aired on prime time abroad. “These dramas promote Turkey to millions of foreigners.”

Turkish actor Halit Ergenç, an actor in one of the most popular Turkish TV drama abroad, “Muhteşem Yüzyıl” (The Magnificent Century) as the Ottoman sultan Süleyman the Magnificent, spoke of the criticisms the drama has received. “If a project is good, it can face such attacks.”

He said the popularity of Turkish TV dramas, particularly in the Middle East, was a source of pride. “We did not estimate that our international success would reach this point. Neighboring countries are closely following us. It is very pleasant that Arabs watch us, too.”

Following the speeches, the actors and producers of TV dramas including “Muhteşem Yüzyıl,” “Kurtlar Vadisi” (Valley of the Wolves), “Ezel,” “Suskunlar” (The Silent), “Binbir Gece” (A Thousand and One Nights), “Öyle Bir Geçer Zaman ki” (Time Goes By) and “Yalan Dünya” (World of Lies), received their plaques.

Source : Hürriyet

“Censoring Steinbeck in 2012 is not a human thing to do: Culture Minister” – Hürriyet Daily News

Culture and Tourism Minister Ertuğrul Günay while responding to questions from the Association of Diplomacy Correspondents in Ankara. AA photo. Source : Hürriyet Daily News

“Culture and Tourism Minister Ertuğrul Günay has harshly criticized the demand from the İzmir Education Directorate to censor a number of “immoral” parts of John Steinbeck’s famous novel, “Of Mice and Men.”, daily Hürriyet has reported. […]

Culture and Tourism Minister Ertuğrul Günay also responded to questions regarding the soap opera “Muhteşem Yüzyıl” (The Magnificent Century), which was recently harshly criticized by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

“The Magnificent Süleyman is doubtless was world emperor. But he was slave of his love at the same time, and this is a real story, not fiction. If this story had been filmed as an international project it could have shaken the world, but it disappointed me,” Günay said.

“Even before the prime minister’s criticism I also thought the scenario had been written a bit carelessly,” he added.

Erdoğan had criticized the series for its showing of sixteenth century Ottoman Emperor Süleyman the Magnificent in the palace with women in many scenes. He said this misrepresented Süleyman and invited prosecutors to sue it.

Source : Hürriyet

“Turkish PM right to criticize TV series, minister says” – Hürriyet Daily News

Ertuğrul Günay is speaking at a ceremony, saying that Erdoğan was right to criticize the popular series. AA photos. Source : Hürriyet

“Culture and Tourism Minister Ertuğrul Günay has said Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was right to criticize the popular TV series Muhteşem Yüzyıl (The Magnificent Century).

 “The prime minister has a very reasonable approach. He has suggested that everyone should be more careful when they write a scenario,” said Günay, adding that the historical era in question was an important one and was not imaginary.

Günay said the clothes, environment, setting and events portrayed in such TV series should more closely mirror reality, which would increase the value of the work. “If this happens then the discussions would stop. We cannot deny the labor of people who are working on these series, but I think everyone could be more careful in terms of scenarios and reflecting reality,” he said.

Erdoğan had earlier heavily criticized Muhteşem Yüzyıl on Nov. 25, for its portrayal of the Ottoman ruler Süleyman the Magnificent.

“We alerted the authorities regarding this and we wait for a judicial decision on it,” Erdoğan said. “Those who toy with these values should be taught a lesson within the premises of law.”

‘Intervention in the judiciary’

The show, which airs in Turkey and abroad, follows the lives of Sultan Süleyman and his lover, the Hürrem Sultan. The show focuses on Süleyman’s personal and palace life, portraying characters from the harem as well as from the royal family.

Erdoğan’s critique of Sultan Süleyman’s portrayal has led to rigorous criticism from members of opposition parties.

 Some described Erdoğan’s behavior as an intervention in the judiciary in light of his comments that regarding a judicial decision while others said the prime minister was trying to divert the country’s agenda.

Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy chair Erdoğan Toprak described Erdoğan’s approach as “grave, authoritarian and unhealthy,” daily Radikal reported Nov. 26.”

Source : Hürriyet Daily News

“Istanbul becomes favorite setting for films and TV shows” – Hürriyet Daily News

Source : Hürriyet Daily News

“Istanbul looks to become a hub for TV series, film, documentary and commercial shoots. The city is like an open plateau with its cultural heritage sites

Istanbul became the setting for filming many series, documentaries, commercials and movies during the past two years.

The city boasted a total of 1,600 shoots for television series, films, documentaries and commercials in 2010 and 2011. Istanbul is like an open air plateau, according to Culture and Tourism Provincial Manager Ahmet Emre Bilgili.

Istanbul also hosted many international films and documentaries. The Culture and Tourism provincial manager said there were many recent developments in terms of film, series and documentary works in Istanbul.

While international teams visited Istanbul for daily and monthly broadcastings, international commercials and films also took place in Istanbul.

Permissions need to shoot at cultural site

“People come to us to ask permission to shoot a scene of a commercial or a series or a film on the Bosphorus Bridge,” said Bilgili. “The team should also get permission from the road managerial team to shoot the scene,” he added, noting that there was also another kind of permission that covered historical places, streets and venues.

Noting that Istanbul has a very exclusive place among the world cities, Bilgili said “Istanbul has a perfect potential to serve as a setting for series, documentaries, movies and commercials.”

With its historical sites, the Bosphorus and cultural heritage, the city was like an open air plateau, according to Bilgili. “We are trying to present the city with its exclusive historical heritage,” he added.

It was very important to present the city in foreign countries, Bilgili said. “If people get to know Istanbul in a positive way with its beautiful cultural heritage sites, they would visit more. For us, all the places should be presented in the best way we can,” he added.

Each cultural site has an exclusive fee

People who shoot commercials, series and films in cultural heritage sites pay a fee for this service, he said.

“Take for example Topkapı Palace. If someone would like to shoot a scene in Topkapı Palace, they have to pay a fee, which was determined by the ministry earlier,” said Bilgili.

Bilgili said people usually ask for permission to shoot a scene at mysterious and old historical places. “Istanbul is a mysterious city with its open air venues and it attracts visitors. Usually bridges, palaces, coastal shores and libraries become the setting for series, commercials and films,” he added.

Noting that usually teams from abroad prefer to shoot movies and documentaries in the old places of Istanbul, Bilgili said because of love for the old, “The teams from abroad love to shoot documentaries, series and films in Istanbul.” Bilgili said they do not give permission to shoot movies in every old venue of Istanbul. “Our first aim is to protect our heritage and history, and this is possible only by protecting the cultural heritage sites in Istanbul. “We are still continuing the project to preserve the historical places in Istanbul. If there is a danger of damage we do not give permission for shootings,” he added.

The historical movies should be shot in a studio, some say, added Bilgili. “However, it is impossible to sustain a real original historical venue with the studio environment,” Bilgili said.

Bilgili also said if there were a possibility to damage the historical venues then the Culture and Tourism Ministry does not give permission. “We would like to use Istanbul as an open plateau, because there is not another city that contains a sea through it.” The Bosphorus and historical venues give an exclusive attraction to the city, according to Bilgili.

“That’s why we can say that there is no city like Istanbul anywhere in the world,” he said.”

Source : Hürriyet Daily News


“Get to know Turkey’s movie and television viewers” – Sabah

“The Turkish audience’s number one preference is to watch films of the comedy genre. Films of choice should deal with political and social issues, whereas on television, Turkish viewers prefer to watch family shows.

Research commissioned by the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce and conducted by Galatasaray University, entitled The Positioning of the Film Industry in Turkey and Target Research has revealed surprising findings regarding television and film viewers in Turkey.

The research which spans over the past five years shows that a number of generalizations are not necessarily accurate. For example, the notion that ‘Art Films’ do not see much demand is not so true when it comes to DVD viewing. In fact, ‘Art Films’ are at times amongst the most highly viewed productions. Another finding that contradicts generalizations is that films based on social or political themes do indeed see demand. One of the most significant findings from the research conducted is that Turkey’s film industry is holding its own against demand for Hollywood films.


In terms of domestic film viewing throughout the globe, Turkey comes in sixth following India (%92), USA (%91.8), Egypt (%80), Japan (%56.9) and China (%56.6). In Europe, Turkey comes in first for the number of domestic films viewed. However despite these findings, the number of tickets, which on average is at 0.52 per person, comes in 13th in the world.
Ticket prices in Turkey, according to purchasing power are high in comparison to the United States and Europe. The average price for a film ticket is 8.35 TL.
In terms of genre, the Turkish public prefers comedy films (%41) followed by dramas (%21).
The most important factor for film viewers is genre. While 35 percent of viewers select films according to genre, 21.6 percent choose films based on whether they are domestic or international productions. Whether or not a film has received much media is not a significant deciding factor.
Sixty-one percent of viewers watch films in shopping centers, while 35 percent prefer boutique theaters.
Viewers enjot films according to their realism, believability and how much they draw the viewer in.
The Turkish public mostly enjoys social or political films (%31), followed by movies depicting ordinary life stories (%21) and love stories (%17).
Twenty-five percent of viewers go the moves once a year. 38 percent go 2-3 times a year and 18.7 percent go 4-5 times, while 9.3 percent go 6-10 times and 8.2 percent go to the movies more than ten times a year.
Viewers prefer domestic films when selectign a film to see in the theater, however when it comes to purchasing DVD’s it does not matter.
The Ministry of Tourism and Culture designated a 24, 089,000 TL budget for the film industry during the years 2005-2010, which resulted in the shooting of 158 films.
In making popular films, directors prefer to work with TV stars (%73) whereas directors for festival films prefer amateur actors (%67).
Legal DVD sales have surpassed 15 million. In DVD sales, the genre of preference is drama (%21) followed by comedy (%13).


There are approximately 47 television series broadcasted each week.
Including advertising and sponsorship income, the television series sector’s total revenue is at one billion liras.
The mist highly viewed shows are family or neighborhood series (%52).
Stories surrounding the middle class or the impoverished are preferred vieing for television series.
Series are in general, set in Istanbul (%57).
The deicsion to watch a new television series is primarily based on previews (%28), topic (%26) and casting (%26).
Sixty-six percent of viewers believe that television series episodes run for too long.”

Source : Sabah

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