“Turkey fines TV over Simpsons show for ‘mocking God’ ” – Cumhuriyet

Source : Cumhuriyet

“Turkey’s media watchdog has fined a private television channel for broadcasting episodes of the American cartoon series “The Simpsons” that poked fun at God, a local newspaper reported on Monday.

The Supreme Board of Radio and Televison (RTUK) fined CNBC-E around 53,000 lira (22,700 euros) over the show, saying it “mocked God” by depicting him serving Satan a cup of coffee and showing one character encouraging another to commit murder in the name of God, the Hurriyet newspaper said.

RTUK also accused “The Simpsons” of showing scenes in which copies of the bible are burnt and encouraging young people to consume alcohol.

The decision by RTUK, which has imposed a string of fines over other television series aired in Turkey that were deemed to be insulting to God or historical leaders or offending family values, was ridiculed by Hurriyet columnist Mehmet Yilmaz.[…]”

Source : Cumhuriyet

“TV series “Magnificent Century” becomes a phenomenon in Bulgaria” – Cumhuriyet

“Several Turkish tv series which have been on air have also become a phenomenon on the internet in Bulgaria.

A number of Turkish tv series such as “Unforgettable (Unutulmaz)”, “Autumn (Son Bahar)”, “Little Women (Kucuk Kadinlar)”, “Under the Linden Trees (Ihlamurlar Altinda)”, “An Istanbul Tale (Bir Istanbul Masali)” and “Little Secrets (Kucuk Sirlar) and notably “The 1001 Nights (Binbir Gece)” and “The Fall of Leaves (Yaprak Dokumu)” have made their private channels rating champions.

“The Magnificent Century (Muhtesem Yuzyil)” has also been the most viewed tv series on the internet in Bulgaria.

Turkish tv series Magnificent Century is being watched on Bulgarian internet pages with the subtitles translated by volunteer fans a few hours later it was broadcast in Turkey. Later, tv series’ Bulgarian fans share their opinions over events and the private life of the leading cast.

The Magnificent Suleyman, Hurrem Sultan, Ibrahim Pasha, Malkacoglu and Mother of Reigning Sultan are the main topics of the forums. Bulgarian tv channels have already taken action to buy this tv series’ copyrights.

Yet, the Magnificent Century is not the only Turkish tv series that attracts the highest audience viewership in Bulgaria. “I Named You Feriha (Adini Feriha Koydum)”, “Modesty (Iffet)”, “What Is the Fault of Fatmagul? (Fatmagul’un Sucu Ne?)”, “North-South (Kuzey-Guney)” and some other popular series are also still being watched excitedly by Bulgarian fans.”

Source : Cumhuriyet

“Turkey’s economy minister meets Bollywood filmmakers” – Cumhuriyet

“Turkey’s economy minister met Bollywood producers and directors in Mumbai, India on Tuesday. In the meeting, Zafer Caglayan said Turkey and India could cooperate in TV series and film industries, and Turkish TV series were exported to 39 countries and 300 million foreigners were watching them.

Caglayan said Turkey wanted to market TV series to more countries, and called on Bollywood filmmakers to come and shoot films in Turkey.

“We think of implementing tax exemptions and incentives,” Caglayan said.

Turkey’s film and TV series exports reached almost 100 million USD in 2010.”

Source : Cumhuriyet

“Turkey tourism sector buoyed by ‘Arab Spring’ ” – Cumhuriyet

“Turkey’s rising regional status in the Arab world swept by popular uprisings against dictatorships is translating into a booming tourism sector at a time of chill in ties with one time ally Israel.

The number of Arab tourists visiting Turkey has dramatically increased over the recent years, making the country a favourite destination in the Arab world, while Israeli tourist numbers have plunged sharply, official data showed. […]

The number of Arab tourists visiting Turkey increased by 16 percent in the first eight months this year, according to the ministry’s statistics.

Istanbul is regarded as one of Turkey’s main tourism destinations as well as Antalya in the Mediterranean.

Some 1.4 million Arab tourists visited Turkey in the period from January to August this year, up from 1.2 million in the same period in 2010 and from nearly 912,000 in 2009.

“We expect to reach 1.7 million Arab tourists in 2011,” said Mehmet Habbab, head of the Turkish-Lebanese Business Council. […]

But another factor is the popularity of Turkish soap operas in the region, with tourists eager to see the Ottoman palaces, ancient sites of Istanbul, and other locations featured in the television series.

“Wherever you go in the Arab world, people talk about Turkish soap operas. Last year Turkey got 67 million dollars in income solely from exporting TV series to Arab countries,” said Habbab.

Source : Cumhuriyet

“Turkish police detain radio-TV board member” – Cumhuriyet

RTUK member Zahid Akman. Source : Cumhuriyet

“Turkish police detained on Wednesday a member of Supreme Board of Radio and Television (RTUK) within the scope of a German charity investigation. 

Police has took into custody RTUK member Zahid Akman, who was the former chairman of the board, in Ankara within the framework of German “Deniz Feneri e.V.” charity investigation.

In September 2008, a German court convicted three Turks of fraud for drawing off donations and using them for other purposes outside charity.

The Frankfurt State Court sentenced the three men working for the charity Deniz Feneri e.V in Germany to prison terms.

The court sentenced Mehmet Gurhan to 5 years and 10 months, Mehmet Taskan to 2 years and 9 months in prison. Firdevsi Ermis was sentenced to one year and 10 months in prison, which was suspended on probation.

Court judge Johann Muller had said after the trial that Deniz Feneri e.V. had received a total of 41 million euros of donations over last five years in Germany and 17 million euros of that had been sent to Turkey.

The prosecution had also said they had reason to believe that Zahid Akman was responsible for some of the crimes.”

Source : Cumhuriyet


“We began promoting the “Magnificent Century”, agency CEO says” – Cumhuriyet

“Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Global Agency, Izzet Pinto, said Thursday that they began to promote the “Muhtesem Yuzyil (Magnificent Century)” TV series.

Speaking to the AA at a fair on television broadcasting in Istanbul, Pinto said that they would host a party in Cannes for 500 people, including global buyers, in three weeks and begin exporting the “Magnificent Century” to the whole world.

Around 4-5 years ago, I met with the creator of “Will You Be My Bride?” and I entered this sector. The format of this TV program was sold to about 30 countries, Pinto said. 

Following the format business, I entered the soap operas sector. Three years ago, I began representing “Binbir Gece (1001 Nights)”. This soap opera was sold to many countries. I sold it to the whole Balkans. The soap opera was liked so much that people began naming their children in Serbia and Croatia as “Sehrazat” and “Onur”, Pinto said. 

Later, I began representing the scenario rights of “Ask-i Memnu (The Forbidden Love)”. We have signed a contract with the Italian Berlusconi TV channel for “The Forbidden Love” and are conducting negotiations with the United States and other European countries to market this TV series, Pinto underlined.

Our portfolio includes 26 projects, Pinto said. We have sold “Will You Be My Bride?” to India and the first live marriage took place in our program, Pinto said.

Turkish soap operas and films have millions of watchers in the Balkans. Greece was a country in which Turkish series were not broadcast in the past. Only “Yabanci Damat (The Foreign Groom)” was broadcast as a joint production. However, “1001 Nights” became a phenomenon once it was broadcast in Greece, Pinto stressed.

The TV series market provides a revenue of around 50 million USD to Turkey. In the next 4-5 years, Turkey will earn around 500 million USD from TV series and I expect a 20 percent share in this market, Pinto said.

The greatest impact of TV series is felt in tourism. The number of tourists coming to Turkey from the Middle East went up 100 percent while the number of tourists coming to Turkey from the Balkans went up 200 percent, Pinto said.

We are currently working with 40 countries and are in touch with 100 other countries. Greece’s biggest TV channel ‘Mega TV’ is our world distributor while big producers of TV series in Argentina and Venezuela are distributors in the Balkans, Pinto said.

We are exporting format to China. “Will You Be My Bride?” will soon begin in China. Normally, China copies everything. For the first time in their history, they have actually paid to receive a format, Pinto noted.

Since our business is global, we want everyone to be interested in our projects. We grow by 100-200 percent annually. We have a good trade mark. We want our shares to be traded at the London Stock Exchange in two years, Pinto added.”

Source : Cumhuriyet

“Winds of Turkish soap operas on Greek TV channels” – Cumhuriyet

” Turkish soap operas are expected to attract thousands of Greeks in the upcoming TV season in Greece.

According to Greek media news reports, the winds of Turkish soap operas in Greece began with “Yabanci Damat” (“Foreign Son-in-Law”) and peaked with “Binbir Gece” (“1001 Nights”).

Sources said that Greek TV channels choose Turkish soap operas more than they do U.S. ones based on costs.

Turkish soap operas “Ask-i Memnu” (“Forbidden Love”) and “Gumus” (“Silver”) will be broadcast on Greek TV channels during the upcoming winter season.”

Source : Cumhuriyet

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