Reports : Istanbul Ticaret Odası



P.97 :

“[…] the sector of TV dramas and series is the driving force for some televisions broadcasting in domestic market. However, the importance of this sector is not limited to the television broadcasting. TV series production produce very important consequences for Turkey’s economic, social and cultural life in terms of value chain and labour force. One of these consequences is related to its interaction with the movie industry. These two sectors based on the same creative forces and the same labour and capital market develop side by side : involvement of experienced people of the movie sector in TV series enhances the quality of TV series ; moreover as stated by the people in the movie sector young people gain experience in TV series and then enter the movie sector with better qualification.”

Reports : TESEV


Media Content: The Regulatory Framework and Court Decisions (p.35)

“Article 25 of the constitution guarantees freedom of expression and protects individuals from state interference on expression of their opinions. Article 28 protects freedom of the press and imposes on the state a positive obligation to undertake the requisite measures to ensure the exercise of this freedom. The constitution guarantees the right to declare or disseminate opinions individually or collectively and to access and share information and opinions without state interference.

What lies beyond this liberal façade, however, is a framework where nationalism, statism and cultural conservatism emerge as the supreme values looming over individual rights. The exercise of fundamental freedoms is subject to compliance with; inter alia, national security, national unity and state secrets.

The constitution entrusts the state with the duty to make sure that citizens act and think in accordance with the ideals of Atatürk, the values of the nation and the morals of the family. Article 41 identifies the family as the ‘foundation of the Turkish society’ and tasks the state with taking measures to protect ‘the peace and welfare of the family’ and to protect children against all kinds of abuse and violence. Article 58 allots the

duty to protect the youth against abuse, exploitation and ‘bad habits’ such as alcoholism, drugs and gambling to the state, and as well as the responsibility to raise young people in accordance ‘the principles and revolutions of Atatürk.’ Making note of this ‘state- centrist approach,’ the Council of Europe (CoE) Commissioner for Human Rights pointed out the pervasive recognition ‘that the letter and spirit of the present Turkish Constitution represent a major obstacle to the effective protection of pluralism and freedom of expression’ (Hammarberg, 2011: para. 11).” […]

Executive Summary

Media policy in Turkey has shaped the media-state relationship since the establishment of the first newspaper in the late Ottoman period. While regulations were often employed as an effective disciplinary tool against the press in processes of state formation and modernization, opponent journalists have constantly been suppressed by state and non-state actors who claimed to act in the name of ‘state interests’.

The coup d’état in 1980 and the concomitant economic liberalisation changed the ownership structure of the media sector with the entry of new investors. Following the abolishment of state monopoly on broadcasting in the 1990s, big conglomerates expanding through vertical and horizontal mergers have dominated all fields of the media. The high concentrated market structure in the media was made possible due to the inadequacy of legal barriers to cross- mergers, as well as the lack of measures that would prevent media conglomerates from participating in public tenders in other sectors of the economy. The shortcomings of the regulatory framework to promote press freedom and diversity in the media has encouraged big corporations to regard themselves as legitimate political actors that can bargain with the government.

Media ownership was restructured following the economic crisis in 2001. Big media groups, which had investments in the financial and banking sectors, were particularly affected by the crisis; some being completely wiped out of the market, while others were seized by the state. Shortly after the Justice and Development Party (Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi- AK Parti) came to power in 2002, the mainstream media was reconfigured ideologically as either ‘opponent’ or ‘proponent’ to the government.

Notwithstanding the limited positive effects of the EU accession process on media freedom, there are dozens of ECtHR judgments regarding freedom of expression and freedom of the press waiting to be executed by the Turkish state. Journalists who are powerless vis-à-vis the owners and political power are particularly affected by the political polarisation in the media. The structural obstacles to unionization and the lack of solidarity in the profession lead to labour exploitation, low quality content and violations of media ethics.

The lack of a strong pro-democracy social movement; the ideological conservatism of the judiciary; the institutional weakness of the parliament; and the lack of democracy within political parties render the government – and future governments – too powerful vis-à-vis the society and the media. On a positive note, however, there is a growing awareness on the need for social monitoring of the media. In the absence of a widely accepted and established self- regulatory framework, various non-governmental organizations and activist groups started to watch the media in order to expand the culture of diversity and to reduce discrimination, racism and hate speech.

Culture: (p.15-16)

“In recent years, Turkey has not just become more politically and economically active in the Middle East but culturally as well. The popularity of Turkish television series and holidaying in Turkey has become far more apparent. Thus the 2010 survey included questions about television and holidaying to understand this phenomenon.

Turkey as a destination has become more popular. Between 2007 and 2009, the number of tourists arriving from the surveyed countries increased from between 25% to 55% depending on the country.

Since 2009, Turkey has lifted visa requirements with Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria in both directions as well as for Saudi Arabian citizens. Indeed, comparing the number of tourists arriving from these four countries in the month of July 2010 to July 2009 reveals the impact of this policy: there was a 32% increase in the number of tourists from Jordan, an 88% increase from Lebanon, a 133% increase from Syria and a 59% increase from Saudi Arabia.

The results show that respondents saw Turkey as the most popular Middle Eastern destination. Indeed, Turkey was the most popular destination in Lebanon (51%), Iran (50%), Syria (43%), Jordan (41%), Palestine (41%) and Saudi Arabia (26%). Turkey’s nearest rival, Saudi Arabia, was the most popular destination amongst Egyptians only (32%). When asked about holidaying outside the region, France was the most popular destination but Turkey was the second most popular alongside Germany with 9%.

Turkish television series, dubbed in Arabic, are contributing to the visibililty of the country in the Middle East. Today the volume of these exports to the region is around $50 million per annum.

Indeed, television series have become an important part of Turkey’s soft power; the number of people who watch Turkish TV series in the region is very substantial and this has the potential to have a lasting effect on Turkey’s image. The survey results confirm this popularity: 78% of respondents had watched a Turkish TV series. The number of viewers was particularly high in Syria (85%) and Iraq (89%). Indeed, it’s not just the series themselves but Turkish celebrities that are popular in the Middle East: respondents could name no fewer than 15 Turkish TV series and 15 celebrities. Knowledge of Turkey’s television series and celebrities was particularly noteworthy in Iraq.”

 Television Broadcasting: (p.51-52)

“According to data from the Radio Television Supreme Council, there are currently 24 national, 15 regional and 209 local television enterprises on air. The categorization as national, regional and local broadcasting was done in consideration of RTÜK’s terrestrial broadcasting frequencies plan and the licenses granted under said plan. Yet, the developing technology and the widespread usage of satellite receiver systems continue to blur the distinction between local, regional and national broadcasting. For example, a television enterprise established in and broadcasting from the Black Sea region can have its broadcasts reach the national and even international audiences through satellite. Hence, although it may have a local broadcasting licence, it is not possible to regard such a television station as a local broadcaster. Even this change only demonstrates the need for more research and more discussion on the area of local broadcasting in Turkey.

On the other hand, in all of these scales, television is the media channel that has the highest access rate: it reaches more than 98% of those living in Turkey.The daily average spent watching television is 3 hours, going up to 7 hours for stay at housewifes. Cable TV broadcasting services are available in 21 cities, with approximately 1 million 275 thousand subscribers. Türksat A.Ş, the cable company that broadcasts public and private television enterprises, belongs to the state and is a monopoly. The company provides both infrastructure and broadcasting services; hence it also determines the channels that can broadcast on cable. A new draft regulation on the privatization of this service has been submitted to the public by RTÜK. The effective date of the regulation is as yet unknown.

Additionally, there are also two digital broadcasting platforms in the television broadcasting sector, one belonging to the Çukurova Group (Digiturk), and the other to the Doğan Group (D-Smart). DIGITURK has approximately 2 million 200 thousand subscribers, while D-Smart has 1 million 200 thousand subscribers.”

 Print & broadcast medias : (p.30-31)

“The media sector in Turkey is divided into aggregations. The biggest eight of the 15 media groups are Albayrak, Doğan, Çukurova,Ciner, Çalık, Feza, Doğuş and İhlas Groups. All major private television and radio stations, newspapers and periodicals belong to these groups. The Doğan Media Group and Merkez Group also have a monopoly over the distribution of the print media through Yay-Sat and MDP, respectively.

Established in 1980, Doğan Media Group is the largest media holding company in Turkey. The group has eight dailies: Hürriyet, Milliyet, Radikal, Posta, Vatan, Fanatik, Referans and Hürriyet Daily News. Hürriyet and Milliyet have a nationalist and statist position while Radikal has a social-democrat point of view. Posta is a tabloid newspaper and Referans was a financial newspaper that has recently been merged with Radikal. Doğan Media Group also owns the national TV channels Kanal D, Star and CNN Turk and radio channels Radio D, Slow Turk Radio and Radio Moda. The group also owns a digital platform called D-Smart, which includes many thematic and pay-per-view channels. Moreover, the group provides access for all TV channels on Türksat satellite. It has a stake in the cinema and advertising industries through D Productions. Channel Romania D is another investment of the group in Romania. The group also includes Doğan Burda Rizzoli (DBR), a joint venture with the German publishing house Burda and the Italian media corporation Rizzoli. Doğan runs its own news agency, DHA, publishing house, Doğan Kitap, and merchandising company, D&R. […]

Doğuş Media Group was founded in 1999. Its first channel was the news channel, NTV. In addition, the group collaborates with international brands such as CNBC, NBA, Billboard, Virgin, and National Geographic.

The Albayrak Group was established in 1952. Until 1982, it was active only in the construction sector. The group began publishing the daily Yeni Şafak in 1995. Having liberal and left-wing columnists who do not belong to the Islamic community the paper has emerged from, Yeni Şafak “offers a relatively broader perspective especially about the controversial issues.” Since 2007 it has been running TVNET, a news channel.

Ciner Holding was an active company in the automotive and energy sectors under the name of Park Holding. In 2002, the company entered the media sector. In September 2007 Ciner Publishing Holding was founded; it currently owns Habertü, Habertürk Radyo, Habertürk TV, Ajans Habertürk and Gazete Habertürk. The company holds international TV and radio channels such as Bloomberg TV and Bloomberg HT Radyo. The Turkish language editions of Marie Claire and Maison, belong to Ciner Group as does the recently closed Newsweek, FHM, Food and Travel, GEO, and Mother and Baby.

Çukurova Holding currently publishes the Akşam, Güneş, Tercüman newspapers and Alem magazine and owns the Show and Sky Turk TV stations. Turkcell, the leader in the GSM industry, as well as Digiturk, which broadcasts the national football league matches, also belong to this group.

The Turkuvaz Group belongs to Çalık Holding. In December 2007 the group bought the Merkez Medya Group from Ciner Holding and became the proprietors of the newspapers Yeni Asır (Izmir), Sabah, Takvim, Günaydın and Pas Fotomac, the weeklies Bebeğim ve Biz, Sinema, Home Art, Yeni Aktuel and Gobal Enerji, as well as the television station ATV. […]”

Turkey’s Image in the Arab World”written by Carnegie Middle East Center Director Paul Salem draws upon the survey to look at how Turkey is and should be responding to recent events in the region.

“[…]Questions 20 and 21 indicate the influence of soft power. A full 78% of respondents in the Arab world and Iran report that they have watched Turkish soap operas. Indeed these TV programs have taken the region by storm, with Turkish TV stars becoming pop idols among young and old, men and women. The impact of watching hours of these Turkish soap operas cannot be underestimated as they have the effect of creating attachment, understanding, and affection for Turkish identity, culture, and values among wide regional publics. Like Egyptian TV and cinema created a prominent cultural place for Egypt in previous decades, Turkish television has made similar inroads in Arab (and Iranian) popular culture. This has been complemented by a wave of tourism to Turkey in which Arabs and Iranians from various classes and walks of life have visited Turkey and become familiar and attached to its towns and cities, history and monuments, culture and people. Turkey is identified in the survey as the most popular tourist destination (35% put it as their first choice; followed by 19% for Saudi Arabia; and 13% for Lebanon.)[…]”

Challenges to Turkey’s Soft Power in the Middle East”written by the Dean of Graduate School of Sciences in METU Meliha Benli Altunışık questions how Turkey exercises its soft power in the Middle East, an issue that has become all the more relevant as a result of the Arab Spring.

Turkey’s attractiveness : (p.2)
” […] Finally, in recent years Turkey has become a source of attraction because of its cultural products. Since 2004 Turkish TV series have become quite popular in the Arab world. 78 percent of the respondents said yes to the question of whether they have ever watched a Turkish TV series in the TESEV poll. The popularity of these series has led to an increase in the numbers of visitors to Turkey from the Arab countries. The increase in human-tohuman interaction has facilitated learning from each other and started to shape images of the “other” in more positive ways.[…]”


“Crisis and Turkish serials hit Greek stage ” – Hürriyet

“For the wider Greek public he was Achilleas Lambrou, the insolent, intelligent, leftist corporal in the 1984 film “Lufa ke Parallagi” (Escape Duty and Camouflage), one of the best anti-militarist comedies in Greek cinema. The film satirizes the difficult years of the Greek junta (1967-74) through the hilarious experiences of a group of soldiers doing their military duty in the newly founded TV channel of the Greek Armed Forces. For others, he was once the husband of a leftist heroine of student resistance during the same period, who is presently serving in the European Parliament. But for theater lovers, Yorgos Kimoulis – now in his late fifties – has been one of the most talented actors of his generation, outspoken to the degree of arrogance and admirably capable of defending his leftist views against anyone who would call him an anti-capitalist “utopist.” […]

The news about Kimoulis broke out almost the same time as a similar story hit headlines: another charismatic actor of the same generation with a similar background in theater and TV, Costas Arzoglou, confessed that he may lose his home – the bank had already sent him the date of the confiscation order – as he cannot afford to pay the installments of his mortgage. Like many theater actors, he was financing his theater work by working on TV serials. These are now being rolled over by cheaper Turkish productions and on top of that, he has not been paid for three years of work at one of the biggest channels. “They can take all except my talent,” he says. Only two weeks ago, another actor in his forties, who had made his name mainly from TV serials, committed suicide as he could not cope with financial difficulties.[…]

The statistics tell a dramatic story. Out of the 4,000 registered actors in Greece, almost 80 percent (some claim more than 90 percent) are now unemployed or partially employed with minimal or no salary. About 250 actors work in state theaters and about 1,000 in the 200 or so theater troupes. And of course, this is work per season.

The drastic cuts provided by the austerity packages on Greece imposed by the “troika” of Greece’s creditors hit the state central and regional theaters, which saw a dramatic reduction of their subsidies. The ones that did not close have to choose plays with smaller casts in order to cope with the costs.

Cheaper Turkish serials and low advertising revenue in the TV sector closed the door on Greek actors who thus lost their main source of income. A new type of actor has been born, the one who is willing to participate in any performance without payment, just to remain in touch with the sector.

Nobody knows how long the austerity period will last in Greece. People are just trying to cope with their immediate needs and commitments. So do the actors, as they try to keep themselves linked with the stage. But still, there is a good side to this. The blow that hit the Greek theater as we knew it up to now has left the door open to new, young talents who have entered the stage determined to show their skills.”

Source : Hürriyet

“TRT mirrors history of Turkey’s broadcasting at a new museum” – Hürriyet Daily News

AA Photo. Source : Hürriyet

“A newly opened museum in Ankara reveals the history of Turkish broadcasting. The facility, opened by state-owned television TRT, displays all materials relating to broadcasting from Turkey’s past, and functions as a repository of the country’s heritage

Turkey’s state-owned television TRT is displaying its long sojourn in broadcasting for the first time with a new museum in Ankara.

The Museum of Broadcasting History TRT in the country’s capital displays old microphones, current virtual studios, outfits from the past, cars driven by the founder of the Turkish Republic, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, as well as many materials used in radio programs and television series.

The museum, which was made possible by the labor of more than 200 workers and four years of work, was recently opened with a visit by President Abdullah Gül.

Through documents that have acquired great pertinence throughout Turkey’s history, the museum depicts the transition from radio to television in a step-by-step fashion.

The entrance welcomes visitors with film-mounting machines, the microphone through which Atatürk made his 10th-anniverary speech (10. Yıl Nutku), hand-made voice recording machines, as well as posters. In the same area, which takes visitors on a journey through history, visitors can also watch programs from previous years on monitors. […]

The museum is also home to a drama studio, a television studio, television exhibit hall, animation section, education hall and a corner for children. The lower floor of the museum displays more than 50,000 dresses and accessories worn by the leading stars of actors and actresses of historical productions such as “Yaprak Dökümü” (The Fall of Leaves), “Aşk-ı Memnu” (Forbidden Love). […]

 Source : Hürriyet

“‘Medyatik eğlence’nin tazelenme ihtiyacı ” – Radikal

Arzuhan Doğan Yalçındağ. Source : Radikal

“Doğan TV Holding’in düzenlediği ‘Yarının Medya, Eğlence ve Show Dünyası’ temalı FRESH MESH konferansı, ‘dijital kültür’ karşısında sektörün yenilenmesinin kaçınılmazlaştığını işaret eden bir girişim.

Eğlence bir ihtiyaç. İnsanlar, hayatta kalma yolunda temel gereksinimlerini zorlanmadan karşılayabilir, böylece kendilerine daha çok zaman ayırabilir hale geldikçe eğlence insan yaşamının ayrılmaz bir parçası oldu. Dolayısıyla ‘eğlencenin tarihi’nden de söz edebiliriz. Bu tarihe ‘üretim-tüketim’ faktörleri üzerinden bakınca, kabaca üç evre ayırt edilebilir. İlkin eğlence, insanların aktif katılım içinde kendilerince üretip tükettikleri ‘toplumsal’ bir etkinlikti. Kırsal, tarımsal, folk kültür aşamasına denk gelen bu uzun dönem boyunca insanlar daha çok kendileri oynayıp kendileri eğlendi.

Modern-endüstriyel kent yaşamında eğlence, hayatın her alanı gibi ‘endüstriyelleşti’. Bir eğlence endüstrisi, sektörü, piyasası çıktı ortaya. İnsanlar artık kendileri eğlence üretmekten çıkıp onlar için eğlence üreten bir sistemin içinde pasif tüketici konumuna gerilediler. Hele ki elektronik devrimi ve teknolojisi temelinde şekillenen ‘kitle iletişimi’ aracılığıyla iş alabildiğine seyirlik hâl aldı. Oynayıp eğlenen insan, seyredip eğlenen insana dönüştü.”[…]

Söz konusu dönüşümün yıllardır ‘kitle’ye tek mecradan ve tek-yönlü iletim bombardımanı (‘broadcasting’ diyelim) yapan bir sektör açısından ‘her şeyi yeniden düşünme’yi gerektirecek bir etki yapması, buna bağlı olarak yeni arayış, yönelim, strateji ve uygulamaların peşine düşülmesi hem beklendik hem de anlaşılır bir durum. Tıpkı Doğan TV Holding tarafından tasarlanıp organize edilen, bugün ve yarın gerçekleştirilecek ‘FRESH MESH’ başlıklı etkileşimsel konferans gibi…

Medya, eğlence ve ‘show’ dünyasını (‘MESH’in açılımı bu) yeni-taze (‘FRESH’ de bu) fikirler üretme yolunda bir beyin fırtınasına davet eden etkinlik, sektörün hemen her kulvarından (medya holding başkanları, kanal yöneticileri, ‘ceo’lar, program yapımcıları, yönetmenler, sunucular, vd.) yerli-yabancı pek çok ismi bir araya getiriyor. Etkinliği ayrıntılı olarak tanıtan hacimli bir metin, net’te mevcut ( Metni böyle bir etkinliğe neden ihtiyaç duyulmuş sorusuna yanıt bulmak için okuduğunuzda bunun, yukarıda vurgulanan yeni aşamada yani ‘dijital devrim’le eğlencenin tekrar ‘toplumsal’ (daha doğrusu ‘siber-toplumsal’) mecraya girmesiyle birlikte sektör açısından belirginleşen ‘sorun’la başa çıkma çabası olduğunu fark ediyorsunuz. Tabii metnin içinde ‘sorun’ sözcüğü hiçbir yerde geçmiyor, ama sözcüğün metne içkin olduğunu düşünmek mümkün. Ve anlıyoruz ki sektör, ‘normal’de alışık olduğu tüketiciyi artık karşısında bulamamaktan muzdarip. O yüzden de bir ‘yeni normal’ belirleyerek şu kaydı düşüyor: 

“Teknolojik ve dijital dönüşümün etkileri artık MESH dünyasının yeni normalinde yerini aldı ve şimdi pazardaki eğilimleri belirleyen iki etken yeniden tanımlanıyor; birincisi, davranışları daha fazla sosyalleşme, paylaşma ve bağlantı kurma motivasyonu ile değişen günümüzün yeni nesil tüketicileri; ikincisi ise bu değişimi geçirmiş tüketicilere ulaşmaya çalışan endüstri.”[…]

Yazar : Tayfun Atay
Source : Radikal 


“Günü-saati şaşmış diziler ” – Radikal

“Dizilerin kemik seyircilerini şaşkına çeviren ve sinirlendiren yayın saati değişiikliği uygulamasının bazı spekülasyonlara zemin hazırladığı düşünülemez mi?

Kanal D üç dizisinin (‘Yalan Dünya’, ‘Kayıp Şehir’ ve ‘Umutsuz Ev Kadınları’) yayın günüyle ilgili basın açıklaması yaptı önceki gün. Kanalın kurumsal iletişim departmanından Ömer Koçak, ağırlıklı olarak sosyal medyada bu dizilerin sadece günüyle değil akıbetiyle de ilgili spekülasyonlar ve bilgi kirliliğinin bu açıklamaya neden olduğunu söyledi.

Özellikle ‘Yalan Dünya’nın önce eski yayın gününe çekileceğine, sonra da yayından kaldırılacağına yönelik söylenti trafiği, bu ihtiyacı doğurmuş.

Fakat tüm bu söylentilere ve bilgi kirliliğine ortam oluşturan bir ‘altyapı’ da yok denemez. Kanal D, sezon başından beri oturmuş-yerleşikleşmiş çoğu dizisinin gün ve saatiyle oynadı. Bunun bir (ticari) rasyonalitesi vardır mutlaka. Ama bu dizilerin kemik seyircilerini şaşkına çeviren ve sinirlendiren bu uygulamanın o spekülasyonlara zemin hazırladığı da düşünülemez mi?

Ben en çok ‘Yalan Dünya’nın rahatsız edildiğini düşünüyorum. Kanımca günümüz Türkiye’sinin nabzını tuttuğu söylenebilecek çok başarılı bir komedi bu. Sunduğu ‘kültürel temsil’lerle tezlere konu olacak kapasitede. Üstelik her kesimden insana ulaşabilecek kıvraklık ve esneklikte olduğu için geçen sezon çok iyi reyting yakaladı. Cumaları PT1’de AB’de birinci, totalde üçüncü sıradaydı hep. Bu sene de yayına geç girdiği halde, üstelik ‘Huzur Sokağı’ gibi sansasyonel başlangıç yapan, dolayısıyla bir süre ortalama seyirci için çekici olacağı belli yeni rakip karşısında aynı mevkiyi korudu.

Fakat Kanal D, yerleşikleşmiş pazartesi dizisi ‘Arka Sokaklar’ı ‘Yalan Dünya’ ile takas etti. Hafta sonuna keyifli giriş imkanı sunan bir ‘sitkom’u hafta başına almak ne kadar uygun, o tartışılır. Ama açık olan, yeni gününde ‘Yalan Dünya’nın hem total hem de AB’de an itibarıyla önceki gününde olduğundan daha gerilere düştüğü. İş daha çok pazartesileri ‘O Ses Türkiye’ ve ‘Karadayı’ karşısında formsuz görünen ‘Arka Sokaklar’a yaradı sanki.” […]

Yazar : Tayfun Atay
Source : Radikal

“100 million dollars brought in from sending turkish shows abroad” – Sabah

“The exporting of Turkish television series to the Middle East and Eastern Europe, which have resulted in the soaring popularity Turkish brands, continues at full-force. Bringing in 100 million dollars in exports this year alone, television shows from Turkey are now selling at higher prices than famous U.S. television series.

According to Customs and Trade Minister Hayati Yazıcı, the peaked interest in Turkish television shows abroad has resulted in turning all eyes on this fast growing sector in Turkey. According to Minister Yazıcı, while statistics show that throughout the globe audio-visual exports saw a 4.54 percent growth on average, in Turkey this year the same figure came to 25.98 percent. Turkish shows are taking the monopoly of prime time spots in a wide variety of locations throughout the Balkans, the Middle East and Central Asia.

Turkey’s entertainment sector has been exporting for five years now. Up until just two years ago, Turkey’s entrance in the market was based on a low-price policy, however now some of the nation’s most popular productions are selling for higher than popular U.S. shows such as Mad Men.

İzzet Pinto, CEO of Global Agency is one of the most prominent businessmen selling Turkish television shows all over the world. According to Pinto, Turkey’s popular sprung to life with television shows such as Bir İstanbul Masalı (An Istanbul Tale), 1001 Gece (1,001 Nights) and Gümüş (Silver). “Today, 100 television stations are being exported to 60 countries. This sector results in bringing in 100 million dollars in foreign currency,” states Pinto.

While Turkish shows are already topping the popularity charts in Middle Eastern and Balkan nations, Turkey now intends to dominate the Western European market. İzzet Pinto explains that they are currently launching in France and if they see success they will go ahead and enter nations such as Italy and Spain.

Western interest in Turkish show

The wind of Turkish shows, which undoubtedly blows strongest in the Gulf nations, has now made its way to the Western European segment, which symbolizes strong economy and high social life standards. For the first time ever, a Turkish television show will soon be released on a Swedish state-run television station.

Considered to be Sweden’s version of Turkey’s TRT, Sveriges Television (STV) will soon be broadcasting the popular television series “Son” (The End) which runs on Atv and stars Yiğit Özşener, Nehir Erdoğan and Berrak Tüzünataç.”

Source : Sabah


“Turkish ‘TV series spring’ continues” – Hürriyet Daily News

The TV series such as Dila Hanım, are expected to attract lots of viewers both natoanally and internationally. The series which are recently started feature famous actors and actresses from Turkish televisions.

Article by Aslı Öymen

“The recent developments in the Turkey’s TV series sector reveal the increase in the audience. Each new production sold to foreign countries. Cannes’ MIPCOM fair unveils the latest situation […]

Turks are everywhere

As a Turkish person, I must admit that the first thing that attracted my attention and made me feel proud were the huge billboards and banners of various Turkish T.V. series that I encountered in the fair area, on the streets, and in cafes. The English translations of our T.V. series’ attracted me the most in those banners: Time Goes by (Öyle Bir Geçer Zaman ki), Magnificent Century (Muhteşem Yüzyıl), Fatmagül (Fatmagül’ün Suçu ne?), Fallen Angel (Kötü Yol), My Partner Knows (Ben Bilmem Eşim Bilir).

However, Kuzey Güney, literally meaning North and South, was not translated and was instead left as it is in Turkish.

Until a few years ago, no Turkish television station stands could be found at MIP apart from the official Turkish Radio and Television (TRT), let alone billboards and banners. Things have changed in a very short time. This year there were five Turkish T.V. channels with stands in the fair: TRT, Kanal D, Show T.V., Star, and ATV. Along with those, various independent production and distribution companies were represented. While the distributors were actively pushing sales during the daytime, they organized cool parties at nights, which were very popular.

‘Turkish series spring’

With its first attempt to expanding abroad coming with “Gümüş” in 2007, Turkish T.V. series first invaded the screens of the Arab world. Today, about 150 Turkish series’ are being exported to 73 countries across Asia, Europe and Africa. Sales of these are estimated to reach 100 million dollars annually, from just 1 million dollars in 2007.

After last week’s MIPCOM journey, Turks are sure to expand their sphere of influence even more. This year, our series also attracted the attention of the Far East, with demands coming from Korea and China. American company NBC Universal bought the format rights of “Aşk-ı Memnu” in order to distribute it to Latin America, which was once the most prominent series exporter.

We also set one of the best examples of format rights and adaptation with “Umutsuz Ev Kadınları,” Kanal D’s adaptation of internationally-known American series Desperate Housewives. This was a successful adaptation that corresponded to the taste of Turkish audience.

Currently, Turkish series are being sold abroad for amounts between 5,000 and 125,000 dollars per episode. This means that “an expensive series” with 100 episodes costs 12.5 million dollars for a foreign broadcaster. On the other hand, format prices are considerably low. The format price for one episode is generally between 5,000 and 10,000 dollars.”

Best thing that has happened to series

One of the lectures in MIPCOM was on Turkish T.V. series, titled “Turkish drama: the new delight.”

Kanal D’s editor-in-chief Pelin Diztaş, Global Agency’s CEO İzzet Pinto, the head of Ay Production Kerem Çatay, United Arab Emirates-based GM Productions’ head Fadi İsmail, and Lebanon K Partners’ distributor Nabil Kazan all attended the lecture.

During the lecture, the subject of the price of Turkish series’ came up, and İsmail and Kazan complained about the increasing prices. During his speech, Fadi İsmail said: “Turkish series’ are the best thing that has happened to Arab series,’ and the Arabs will learn to make their own series soon.” He warned that this would endanger the future of Turkish T.V. series’ in Arab countries, but this was not accepted by other attendants. Pelin Diztaş argued that making series’ could be learned, but finding and writing a plot was the most difficult part. “This is very abundant in our geography. Turkey is a country with abundant traumatic material, with a rich geography and a significant emotional dimension,” she said. As can be seen in the Desperate Housewives example, those learning to make T.V. series will shoot their own series with plots they have bought. I don’t know how long the learning process will last for, but when the localization trend is used it will become unavoidable for series to be framed in a certain format.

Source : Hürriyet Daily News

“Works continue to give TV series to foreigners for free ” – Hürriyet Daily News

“Following a decision taken by from the Culture and Tourism Ministry, Turkish T.V. series’ will start to be aired in a number of countries free of charge. Vice Culture and Tourism Minister Abdurrahman Arıcı has announced that Turkish series’ will be aired abroad with the support of the ministry, in the interest of promoting Turkey in foreign countries.

“With T.V. series’ we can enter every house and spread the influence of Turkish culture,” he said, adding that tourists coming from Middle Eastern countries often visited the venues where T.V. shows were shot.

Turkey has signed deals with seven companies that market T.V. series, films and documentaries to the world, Arıcı said, speaking at the October meeting of the Skal Antalya Club.

According to an article in daily Radikal, while Turkey’s T.V. exports currently amount to a total of $60 million, and the aim is to increase this amount to $100 million. “Magnificent Century” (Muhteşem Yüzyıl) is among the most popular, and the ministry would particularly like to air this series in Kyrgyzstan, said Arıcı.

The importance of industry

At the same meeting, Istanbul Chamber of Commerce board member İsrafil Kuralay said the industry had reached a very important position.

The Daily News has previously reported that Greek audiences in particular have learned a number of Turkish words thanks to the series that are aired in their country. Turkish series such as “Magnificent Century,” “Sıla,” “Asi,” “Acı Hayat” (Bitter Life), “Deniz Yıldızı” (Starfish) and “Lale Devri” (Tulip Age) are among those being shown in Greece, and Greek people have thus started to pick up simple words and phrases in Turkish such as “Hello,” “How are you?” and “My dear.”

“Magnificent Century” is being aired in Greece on OBN, one of the most watched stations in the country, under the title “Süleyman Velicanstveni” (Süleyman the Magnificent). It was also the highest rated T.V. series in Bosnia Herzegovina on its first day of broadcast.”

Source : Hürriyet Daily News

“Egypt plans to launch TV channel broadcasting in Turkish” – Today’s Zaman

“Egypt is planning to launch a TV channel broadcasting in Turkish, an Egyptian minister has said.

Egyptian Information Minister Salah Abdul-Maqsoud told a correspondent from the Anatolia news agency in Cairo on Wednesday that during his visit to Turkey he had meetings with President Abdullah Gül and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and that the two parties agreed to cooperate in the areas of culture and media.

There was a TV channel in Turkey broadcasting in Arabic, he said, adding that they are also planning to open a TV channel in Egypt broadcasting in Turkish.”

Source : Today’s Zaman

“TV series face demand and supply problem, says actor” – Hürriyet Daily News

There is a supply-and-demand problem in the Turkish television series industry, Tarık Pabuççuoğlu, a veteran Turkish television and cinema actor, says. Source : Hürriyet

There is a supply-and-demand problem in the Turkish television series industry, Tarık Pabuççuoğlu, a veteran Turkish television and cinema actor, has said.

Pabuççuoğlu, who is currently playing a role in a Turkish TV series, criticized the workings of the sector while speaking to Anatolia news agency.

“I am worried about the cultural erosion that Turkey faces today. It is very important to attract audiences to the theater, but no one is interested in it,” Pabuççoğlu said. “[TV series] feed of commercial advertisements and this makes it a commercial situation.”

Each season, 120 TV series hit Turkish television screens, Pabuççuoğlu said. “Each [production] team consists of 50 people, but only a few of these series can survive and continue through the season. When TV series are canceled then people become unemployed.”

This is a question of supply and demand, Pabuççuoğlu said. The imbalance of supply and demand affects everything in the industry, he said, and added that this also drives the cultural erosion Turkey faces.

Meanwhile, fully 78 percent of poll respondents in the Arab world and Iran report that they have watched Turkish soap operas.

Demand is high in Arab countries

“[Turkish] TV programs have taken the region by storm, with Turkish TV stars becoming pop idols,” a report from Paul Salem titled “Turkey’s image in the Arab World,” said. These soap operas have the effect of “creating attachment, understanding and affection for Turkish identity, culture, and values” in the region, the report said. “Like Egyptian TV and cinema creating a prominent cultural place for Egypt in previous decades, Turkish television has made similar inroads in Arab [and Iranian] popular culture,” the report said, adding that this has been complemented by a wave of tourism to Turkey that is bringing Arabs and Iranians from various classes and walks of life to the country, which has become the most popular tourist destination in the region.

Source : Hürriyet Daily News

“Comedy show satirizes TV series sector” – Hürriyet Daily News

Murat Cemcir (L) and Ahmet Kural (M) worked at the TV show ‘Ramazan Güzeldir, which is currently aired on TRT Arabic channel. In addition to trio’s currentl show on TRT called ‘İşler Güçler,’ Sadi Celil Cengiz (R) is acting a part at TRT’s ‘Leyla ile Mecnun,’ which is also broadcast on TRT Arabic as well.. Source : Hürriyet Daily News

By Tuba Parlak

“Comedy show ‘İşler Güçler’ sheds light on the TV industry, providing viewers with a peek at the reality behind the screen. The show is aired on Star TV every Thursday and has been an immediate success

Turkish TV series are widely appreciated at home and in neighboring countries, but audiences know little about the increasingly brutal nature of the TV show sector. A comedy series called “İşler Güçler,” however, is shedding light on the industry, providing viewers with a peek at the ugly reality behind the screen.

“We wanted to make a comedy out of what we or our friends have experienced in this sector and turn it into a satire of the whole TV show production system. It has worked very well so far,” said Selçuk Aydemir, the writer and director of the show, which became an immediate success after the airing of its first episode earlier in July on Star TV.

The lead characters, Ahmet Kural, Murat Cemcir and Sadi Celil Cengiz, perform in the show with their real names and their real career stories. “İşler Güçler” is aired on Star TV every Thursday, and the ratings have pleased the filmmakers. The general audience response, according to social media, has also been very positive, and it is more than likely that the show, which started as a summer series, will continue the next season.

“We are presenting a caricaturized version of our own career stories through which we are also making fun of ourselves, which is necessary for many reasons. First, if we told the audience what we have really gone through without any comical effects, they would not be able to watch the show without bursting out into hysterical tears,” said Kural, laughing before revealing the main reason, which was to sustain realism. “Had we started by criticizing the sector as fictional characters, it would have alienated the viewer in the long run because it would give them the false impression that we were out of this vicious circle. And unfortunately that is not true,” Kural said.

Dealing a death blow to Rambo

“İşler Güçler” takes its name from a colloquial phrase used to denote a hectic work schedule that is often not as busy as the speaker would have his listener believe. The title refers to the employment conditions in the sector, where the miscalculations of supply and demand might lead to the ruin of acting careers. An explosion in domestic and foreign demand for Turkish TV dramas has produced increased supply. In the last five years, Turkish TV viewers have been subjected to hundreds of new productions which repeatedly deal with the same topics and liberally employ recurrent themes with little imaginative effort due to confidence in their star casts.

Early critics of the abundant supply went to the trouble of counting the number of shows on domestic TV channels for one whole season, reaching three-digit numbers. The same critics complained about the declining cinematographic qualities as a result of pressing weekly schedules, which stemmed from the amount of competition. “In the U.S., a 22-minute comedy is shot within 28 days. In Turkey, we are urged to shoot a 100-minute episode in six days,” said Cemcir.

The story for “İşler Güçler” developed out of a documentary project director Aydemir was writing to cast the same three actors.

“I was planning a documentary series called ‘Meslek Hikayeleri’ [Professional Stories], in which we would pick three professions each week and interview a few people in that profession. I was also writing funny parts to connect each interview, because I wanted the documentary to have a degree of humor. In the long run, the project turned into the script for ‘İşler Güçler.’”

The show’s plot is the career story of three actors who get hired by an extremely unprofessional producer for the making of a documentary titled “Professional Stories.” As the three characters strive to do their job properly, despite a lack of funds and professional conditions, the show’s plot changes into a funny employment story about the TV business. The fictional documentary is of such desperately low quality that it never gets an airing, and the channel – which is named after the real broadcaster of the TV show, namely Star TV – repeatedly airs Sylvester Stallone’s “Rambo” films in its place.

“In this episode, we’re getting our revenge on Rambo,” Aydemir said. In last week’s episode, the show opened with the opening scene of “Rambo 4” as a joke to the audience, and the full film followed the airing of the show. On being asked whether this yielded any copyright infringement issues, Aydemir said he had asked for the necessary permission.

Breaking free of the vicious circle

These four people have previously collaborated on a few TV shows, none of which continued past the middle of their first season. Aydemir and Cengiz know each other from a web portal where they used to upload their short films during their amateur years. They meet with Cemcir coincidentally while they were shooting “Kurban” (Sacrifice), which was later aired as a four-episode mini-series on state-run TRT during the Kurban Bayram Holiday.

Kural and Cemcir’s story is as funny as it can get. “While I was shooting ‘Gazi’ [Veteran] for ATV in 2007, [Cemcir] joined us as a guest actor. But we did not meet during filming because we never shared a scene. He played in only four episodes and then the show was withdrawn from the screen after the airing of the 19th episode,” Kural said.

Cemcir picked up telling the story of the duo’s collaborations where his friend left off. “In 2008, I started to work on another show called ‘Bir Bulut Olsam’ [If only I was a cloud] and [Kural] joined us as a guest actor. After the 16th episode was aired the channel cancelled the show,” Cemcir said.

The duo also shared the lead role in Aydemir’s 2011 movie “Çalgı Çengi.” That same year, Cengiz joined the trio in the shooting of another TV show titled “Üsküdar’a Giderken,” which was named after a Turkish classical music song, broadcast by Kanal D until only the 14th episode.

“While the shooting of the show continued I was offered a part on another show and to be able to do both of these [shows] I had to resign from my post as a civil servant. On the day my resignation was confirmed, I was told the show was being cancelled from the screen and the other project was cancelled before even being broadcast.” This chain of misfortune is the main inspiration behind their current project and where the plot derives its humor from. It is certain that with their final project they have broken free of the vicious circle.”

Source : Hürriyet Daily News

“Turquie – Série TV : l’empire contre-attaque” – émission Faut Pas Rêver

Extrait d’un reportage de Sandrine Léonardelli et Patrick Méheut (production France Télévisions / Faut pas rêver)

“Depuis une dizaine d’années, les séries télé « made in Turquie » règnent en maîtres sur le petit écran. Avec un marché de 70 millions de téléspectateurs, leur production est devenue une véritable industrie dont Istanbul est la capitale. Exit les feuilletons brésiliens ou mexicains, les séries turques parlent aussi d’amour, de crimes ou de trahison. Leurs héros sont beaux, souvent riches et puissants et ils sont turcs ! Et c’est ça qui fait la différence ! Leader absolu de l’audience depuis un an, « Le siècle magnifique » raconte la vie de Soliman, le plus grand sultan de l’Empire ottoman, y compris sa vie privée… Un pari osé en Turquie ! “

Lien sur le site officiel de l’émission Faut Pas Rêver :

“Famous Bulgarian film studio to become set for Turk drama” – Hürriyet Daily News

Nu Boyana, the largest film production studio in Bulgaria, will host Turkish filmmakers Muharrem Gülmez and Serdar Akar for a 78-episode TV series. More than half the cast will be made up of Bulgarian actors. Source : Hürriyet

“Turkish filmmakers Muharrem Gülmez and Serdar Akar are planning to make a 78-episode TV series in Bulgaria. Shooting for the series, which will take places in the Nu Boyana Film Studios, will begin in August

Turkey’s hugely successful TV industry is preparing to bring one of its shows to Bulgaria, with plans to shoot dozens of episodes of the new program “Biniciler” (Riders) in the Balkan country.

“Our country is insufficient for us. We are producing so many things that we have trouble finding sufficient equipment and staff. This is why we have decided to come to our neighbor. When you need something, you go to your neighbor. This situation is like that. I hope we will do a good job here,” Turkish producer Muharrem Gülmez said during a weekend press conference outlining the filmmakers’ plans.

Some 78 episodes of “Biniciler” will be shot at Bulgaria’s Nu Boyana Film Studios starting in August.

Gülmez told Anatolia news agency that filmmakers had laid the foundations for a bridge between the countries in the best possible way and added that the chance to shoot in Bulgaria had attracted them because of the country’s natural beauty and its studio opportunities.

“More than 50 percent of the staff will include Bulgarian artists,” Gülmez said, adding that 15 artists from Turkey would act in the show for which casting work is still being conducted.

Asked by Bulgarian reporters how closely Turkish series adhere to reality, Gülmez said: “TV series are dramatic documentaries. These TV series are not dramas that relate to Turkey but the dramas of people and families. Turkish TV series do not give messages like ‘our beaches are very beautiful, our policy is very strong.’ We generally work on love stories.”

Director and screenwriter Serdar Akar said shooting would last two years.

“The TV series, which includes fantastic elements, is set in the pre-historic period, but at its core there is the theme of humanity,” he said.

Akar said they had found a good basis in Bulgaria for shooting. “The director of Nu Boyana Film Studios David Varod made many things happen for us. He opened the door to the studios for us. I think that we can do good work there. Now we have started looking for a house to stay in. We will be working here for two years but we don’t feel out of place.”

Bulgarian Culture Minister Vezhdi Rashidov, who brought the Turkish filmmakers together with their Bulgarian counterparts, said he was very pleased to establish the bridge of friendship. “Bulgaria-Turkey relations have never been as good as they are now,” Rashidov said.

ashidov said Turkish cinema was the world’s third biggest cinema after Hollywood and Bollywood. “One of our biggest dreams is to organize a festival that will introduce young Turkish cinema to Sofia soon.”

The minister also said he would sign an agreement with Turkish Culture and Tourism Minister Ertuğrul Günay in the coming days for Turkish-Bulgarian joint productions. “In this way, we will be able to provide financing from both countries for joint productions.”

Nu Boyana

Nu Boyana is the largest film production studio in Bulgaria. Since being rebuilt in a picturesque location on the outskirts of Sofia the studio has hosted the production of 180 feature films, including high-budget movies like “The Black Dahlia” and “The Way Back,” as well as produced visual effects for “The Expendables,” “Conan” and more.

Source : Hürriyet Daily News

“Turkish TV series encourages violence in youth” – Hürriyet Daily News

‘Valley of the Wolves’ has been ranked as the most violent TV series, followed by ‘Behzat Ç.’. Cartoon films including ‘Ninja Turtles,’ ‘He-Man’ and ‘Pokemon’ are also on the list.

“The head of the Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK), Fatih Yalçın has prepared a “black list,” which includes TV series that have violence and encourage youth to violence, according to an article in daily Milliyet. The 167 page report is the dissertation of Yalçın and covers foreign and Turkish TV series and movies. Among the foreign movies listed, “Natural Born Killers” directed by Oliver Stone was listed as the top violent movie.

Valley of the Wolves (Kurtlar Vadisi) ranked as the first violent TV series, cartoon films including “Power Rangers,” “Ninja Turtles,” “Batman,” “He-Man” and also “Pokemon” were also on the list.

According to daily Milliyet’s article, the report revealed that cartoon programs broadcast during the day include violence more than 30 percent of the time.

The report also revealed that young people who watched “Reservoir Dogs,” “License to Kill” and “Natural Born Killers” are involved in violent acts. “It is not true to say that everyone who watches those movies would become involved in violent acts. It is not possible to arouse the same effect on everyone, but people who are involved in violent acts should not be ignored,” the report said, according to daily Milliyet.

“Those movies may not cause violent acts, but they encourage violent acts among youth.

The TV series also use violence and use scenes [of violence] and the viewer gets used to the violence,” said the report. TV series such as “The Valley of the Wolves,” “Autumn Roses,” “Behzat Ç,” “Backstreets,” “Adanalı” and “Ezel,” which are shown in prime time on Turkish channels are also among those encouraging violence.”

Source : Hürriyet Daily news

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