“TV serials bad for your kids” – Hürriyet Daily News

Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Article by Belgin Akaltan

“Children seem to believe whatever they see on TV. Children under the age of 8 are often especially unable to tell the difference between reality and fantasy. They think they are watching Sultan Süleyman when they watch the soap opera “Muhteşem Yüzyıl” (The Magnificent Century).

They imagine whatever is put on TV is real. This inability to distinguish between fact and fiction seems to be a widespread problem in today’s Turkey. There are also some adults who refuse to grow up.

Some of these grownups have successful political careers. Their percentage is very low, but they have been recorded to gain as much as more than 40 percent of the vote. Political scientists are still working on this phenomenon.

There is also an additional peculiarity with the Turkish society. Old time Turkish films were made with such an unusual level of unreality that several idiosyncrasies in the Turkish society today are associated with having been exposed to too many of them.

In a popular Turkish film of the 1970s and 80s, the heroin may be raped but does not lose her virginity, forced to marry the villain but stays a “good girl” for decades, then goes blind, never ages except for a few white powder shades on her hair, then meets the love of her life, her eyes start to see again, the villain dies, she marries her love and becomes a famous singer and also rich at the end. I’m not kidding. Crowds believed in such far-fetched plots. Naturally, the same crowds were able to believe in anything else later on in real life and children raised by these parents live in a delusional world (said Belgin, the philosopher).

In an article for Hürriyet published on Tuesday Yılmaz Özdil cited examples that illustrate just how far Turkish society can get carried away when watching soap operas: “The drug-dealer in the TV series ‘Beyaz Gelincik’ was beaten by a group in a dark alley. The mother in the soap opera ‘Çocuklar Duymasın’ was elected mother of the year at a time when she had no children. The surgeon named Kutsi in the ‘Doktorlar” series was approached by more than 20 citizens who brought their fathers with Alzheimer’s or even sick babies to the film set. The jewelry robbery In ‘Akasya Durağı’ actually triggered a call to 155 and anti-terror teams were dispatched, almost shooting the masked actors.”

“An anti-American demonstration was being filmed in front of a mosque for a TV series. Congregation coming out of Friday prayers joined, chanting ‘Allah is great.’ There was a scuffle, a plain clothes policeman passing by interfered and tried to arrest an actor burning an American flag.”

So, if you have a child over the age of 8 and if he still persists there is little difference between fact and fiction, don’t worry if you live in Turkey. He might have a bright political future. I have avoided the word “she” intentionally. Somehow girls have a better cognition of fact and fiction starting from an earlier age in Turkey. No scientific research has been conducted on this; the researchers are too busy studying the guys.

If you ask me, (even if you don’t ask me you are bound to read my opinion now), a good solution would be to assign “mummies” for every child. For those grownups without mummies around to help them, maybe wives can act as moms and guide them in separating fact from fiction.

Wait; is that not a tried option in Turkey? It surely is! What else can be done?

Teach the opposition to base their strategies on things good enough for 8 year olds? Ban TV all together except for TRT? Form a sub-committee for Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK) with a name such as, “Sultan Süleyman Fact Finding Committee?” Shoot a documentary about Sultan Süleyman’s life, where he spends 30 years on horseback? Wait that was also suggested, right?

Am I Turkish or what?”

Source : Hürriyet Daily News

“Star from ‘immoral’ series steals show” – Hürriyet Daily News

‘Nur’ star Songül Öden is seen with other Turkish actor Cansel Elçin at the forum. Source : Hürriyet

“Many Arabs view Turkish TV series as “immoral” but cannot stop watching them, according to Arab guests at the Turkish-Arab Media Forum, which brought together around 200 journalists from the region in Istanbul earlier this week.

 Turkish TV series are “evil” but impossible to avoid, said Professor Moncef Ayari, a Tunisian communications specialist. “We criticize the Turkish TV series but at the same time we watch them with interest.”

“We thought Turkey would have strict moral values and we would not see things like relations out of wedlock,” said Daniel Abdulfettah, a speaker from the United Arab Emirates. “However, we saw in the TV series ‘Gümüş’ [titled ‘Nur’ in Arab countries] that extramarital relations do exist in Turkey, and we were very surprised to see that.”

Abdulfettah said such events also happened in the Arab countries but added that it was taboo to speak about the matter.

Hamoud al-Touqi, the editor-in-chief of the Al Waha Magazine in Oman, said Turkish TV series had entered Arab homes “without permission” before becoming permanent houseguests.

“You can’t find anybody on the streets when ‘Nur’ is on TV,” al-Touqi said.

Turkish TV series have become highly popular in Arab countries over the last five years.”

Source : Hürriyet Daily News

“Obtaining an identity via soap operas” – Hürriyet Daily News

Even though Hürrem’s ring is the best-selling product in the store, Feriha’s ring and Bihter’s necklace and bracelet are among the best sellers on online shopping sites. (Source: Hürriyet)

“It is a well-known fact that Turkish soap operas are successful both domestically and internationally. But their success is not only limited to TV ratings; many accessories worn by soap opera stars create ‘new trends’ and sometimes ‘identity problems’, according to experts.

Dressing like a soap opera star or having one of the star’s accessories shows an urge to obtain more than one identity, according to Hüsamettin İnanç, scholar and author of the book “The Identity Problems of Turkey.”

This is the result of postmodern culture and changing societal values, he said. “We usually see those problems in the youth in transitional period of the society that we are currently experiencing,” İnanç said, noting that Turkey was experiencing a transition from tradition to modernity.

“Suddenly, we can observe people who are tending to leave a more traditional life behind and are trying to attain a modern one. In this case we see social deviation and ambiguity,” said İnanç, describing what is called “deviant behavior” in social psychology. […]

Those accessories are on sale online from some prestigious jewelry stores and in stores in Kadıköy and Eminönü. “Muhteşem Yüzyıl” (Magnificent Century) character Hürrem’s ring, “Aşk-ı Memnu” (Al Eshq Al Mamnoue) character Bihter’s necklace and bracelet and “Adını Koydum Feriha” (I called her Feriha) protagonist Feriha’s ring can all be found on sale. Some websites even sell such accessories under the title “Accessories from the Magnificent Century” or “Bihter’s exclusive accessories.”[…]””

Source : Hürriyet Daily News


“Copper sales on rise thanks to TV series” – Hürriyet Daily News

Coppersmith Kamil Tuna says that sales increased thanks to popular series. (Source: Hürriyet)

Sales of copper products have increased thanks to the popular Turkish TV series “Muhteşem Yüzyıl” (Magnificent Century), according to coppersmiths in the southern province of Adana.

Mostly copper products were being used in the TV series, said Kamil Tuna, who has been working as a coppersmith for 60 years in the city. “This is why people began showing interest in objects made of this material. We are selling objects like trays, coffeepots, coffee cups, Turkish bath bowls and many others.”

Sales began increasing when Hürrem Sultan used a bowl while washing herself in the bath, Tuna said. “We sold lots of copper bowls at first. Later on, when she was pregnant on TV, she had dinner in a copper pan with the sultan and there was an observable increase in copper pan sales.”

Source : Hürriyet Daily News

“Suleiman the Magnificent TV drama opens Turkish divide on religion” – Reuters

(Demonstrators attack billboards advertising the TV series "The Magnificent Century" in Istanbul January 9, 2011/Murad Sezer )

“A steamy television period drama about a 16th century sultan has angered conservative Muslims in Turkey and sparked a debate over the portrayal of the past in a country rediscovering its Ottoman heritage.

“The Magnificent Century” chronicles the life of Suleiman the Magnificent, who ruled the Ottoman Empire in its golden age. Scenes which have particularly offended show a young and lusty sultan cavorting in the harem and drinking goblets of wine, pursuits frowned upon by the Muslim faithful for whom the sultan had religious as well as temporal authority.

Producers of the series, which has drawn huge audiences and boosted sales of history books on the period, said they wove in imagined elements to the love story between Suleiman and his favorite slave concubine, and later wife, Hurrem, with the aim of presenting the characters as more human. But for many pious Turks, including Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, who leads a government with its roots in political Islam, the series is an insult to the nation’s forebears.” […]

Source : Reuters

“Turkish soap operas are getting more popular in Greece” – New York Turkish Club

“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

“Arab world is transfixed by Turkish soap operas” – WorldFocus

“For more than six centuries, the Ottoman Empire controlled Arab lands, leaving its imprint on art, language and food.

Today, Turkey is wielding influence once again in the Arab world — not militarily, but through its soap operas. More than a dozen Turkish soaps have aired on Arab television, offering an escape from the hard daily realities of life.”

Source : World Focus Online

“Arab TV Tests Societies’ Limits With Depictions of Sex and Equality” – New York Times

“BEIRUT, Lebanon — Many Arabs were shocked and appalled earlier this month when a prominent Saudi cleric declared that it was permissible to kill the owners of satellite TV stations that broadcast “immoral” material.

Saudi clerics have denounced popular soap operas like “Bab al-Hara,” which attract enormous audiences during Ramadan.

But the comment, by Sheik Saleh al-Luhaidan, was only the most visible part of a continuing cultural controversy over Arab television. This summer another Saudi cleric denounced the Arab world’s most popular television show ever — the dubbed Turkish series “Noor” — calling it “replete with evil, wickedness, moral collapse and a war on the virtues.” He also barred Muslims from watching the series, which portrays the lives of moderate Muslims who drink wine with dinner and have premarital sex.” […]

Source : New York Times

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