“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

“Controversial Turkish soap opera faces criminal complaint” – Today’s Zaman

“A businessman in the tourism industry has filed a criminal complaint against a controversial historical soap opera aired on a Turkish network, accusing it of undermining people’s understanding of Turkish history.

Ömer Faruk Bildirici, who lives in the central province of Konya, filed the complaint on Friday in a Konya court against “Muhteşem Yüzyıl” (Magnificent Century), a soap opera centered on the intrigues of the Ottoman Palace that airs on Star TV.

Bildirici accused the TV show of distorting society’s perceptions of certain historical incidents and figures and demanded a ban on the TV show in a petition which will be forwarded to the İstanbul Public Prosecutor’s Office.

“Muhteşem Yüzyıl” has become a top issue of debate in the country after Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan severely criticized the show, saying it undermines the golden age of Turkish history, as it portrays Ottoman Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent, known as Kanuni in Turkish, who reigned from his coronation in 1520 to his death in 1566, in a way conservatives in Turkey say is skewed.

Erdoğan not only lashed out at the show but also at its producers, as well as the owner of the network that runs it. “We know no such Kanuni. He spent 30 years of his life on horseback [as opposed to the life of indulgence portrayed in the series]. I publicly condemn the directors of that show and the owners of the television station. We have warned the authorities about this. I expect the judiciary to make the right decision.”

The series has been on the air for two years. Erdoğan and other government representatives have occasionally expressed their annoyance with it, but this was the first time Erdoğan called on the judiciary to act against the show, sparking a major controversy about free speech in Turkey.”

Source : Today’s Zaman

“New period TV series accused of distorting well-known history” – Today’s Zaman

Sami, a major character in the series “Seksenler” (The 80s), is seen in this 2012 photo. (PHOTO SUNDAY’S ZAMAN)


“New period television series launched in an attempt to share the history of the country with viewers, who have tuned in by the millions, have been on the receiving end of harsh criticism after claims that the series distorts the truth about historical events and figures.

The wave of harsh criticisms began with the launch of the TV series “Muhteşem Yüzyıl” (Magnificent Century), which is based on the life of Ottoman Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent and his love for Hürrem Sultan, a former slave who eventually became the sultan’s wife. Critics have argued that the costumes the actors and actresses wear in the series do not reflect the design of the clothing worn by members of the Ottoman dynasty but are rather similar to those used in the historical English TV series “Tudors,” which is about the reign and marriages of King Henry VIII. Also labeled by many as a “fake Tudors,” Magnificent Century has been criticized for its plot, which focuses on the harem life of Süleyman, about which, according to historians, there is no detailed account.

The negative reaction to historical series continued after “Bir Zamanlar Osmanlı: Kıyam” (Once Upon A Time in the Ottoman Empire: Rebellion), a series about significant events that took place in 18th-century Ottoman times such as the Patrona Halil Rebellion, started broadcasting in 2012. Viewers initially said the series, which was launched as a rival to Magnificent Century, was initially devoid of realistic characters and a consistent plot. The series underwent significant changes in the past year, including a change in the plot, and technical problems were also solved by producers.

Other television series such as “Seksenler” (The 80s), which revolves around the lives of people living in the1980s in the aftermath of a bloody coup d’état and “Öyle Bir Geçer Zaman ki” (As Time Goes By), which concentrates on the conflicts among members of a family living in the 1960s, have received similar criticism from historians.

Such series, however, have also revived people’s interest in historical figures and events. There has been a sharp increase in the publication and sale of books about history, according to historians. Women’s demand for accessories and jewelry worn by the main characters of these series has created new market opportunities. Historians have started to hold discussions about the figures and incidents in a number of TV programs with the aim of correcting the mistakes in the period TV series.

Ahmet Yaşar, a lecturer from Fatih University’s department of history, commented on the revival of interest in history through these series, saying they help people gain knowledge about history. However, Yaşar also criticized the series, noting that their producers can make changes or additions to historical events in order to increase ratings, adding that such changes or additions should only be made if there is no exaggeration. Yaşar said most people watch these series as if they reflect historical realities without questioning their authenticity, which makes it more important that they consult factual resources such as history texts.

Another historian, who wanted to remain anonymous, stated that the ideological views of the series’ producers also affect the way the characters and plot are rendered. The historian further commented that such TV series have unfortunately become a part of popular culture.

Followers of TV series, speaking to Sunday’s Zaman, talked about their positive and negative views on such series. Tülin Öksüz, a history gradate, noted that the series most of the time only focus on some particular figures and incidents, failing to talk about the lives of the common people, in which people are interested. Aynur Sezen, a fan of Magnificent Century, stated that the series contributes to her knowledge of history although at times the facts are not correct and events that did not occur in a particular period are depicted, which negatively affects the credibility of the series.

Zeliha Karlı, a housewife, noted that historical facts are merely touched upon with elaboration, which is why she chooses to avoid watching them. “However, I wonder if details about the historic figures and incidents were shared in a factual and detailed manner, would they be watched by as many people?” she said. “It is only the series that are set in more recent history that are credible for me since I know what happened during those times and can decide if the incidents are true or distorted,” noted Karlı.”

Source : Today’s Zaman

“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

“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

“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

“State pressure in Turkey leads unmarried TV couples to tie the knot ” – Hürriyet Daily news

Zeynep's frustration at not being able to convince Ozan to settle down had been a comedic source for the writers over the show’s previous 250 episodes. Source : Hürriyet

“Pressure from Turkish TV’s watchdog is forcing the writers of a popular TV show to have their lead characters, an unmarried couple, wed in the interests of promoting greater morality, daily Habertürk reported today.

Zeynep and Ozan, the couple in the popular “1 Erkek 1 Kadın” (One Man, One Woman), will be married in a wedding scene that is to be included in next week’s episode following pressure by the Turkish Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK).

The pair’s failure to tie the knot, due to Ozan’s reluctance to settle down, was one of the key dynamics to the show, which features a series of skits that follow the couple during their daily routines.

Zeynep’s frustration at not being able to convince Ozan to settle down had been a comedic source for the writers over the show’s previous 250 episodes.

RTÜK, however, has been criticizing the show for some time, accusing the writers of encouraging extramarital affairs. The cohabiting couple is often portrayed as sexually active.

The general director of the show, Müge Turalı, recently announced the screen wedding, but added that the original story, which was adapted for Turkish TV, made no clear mention of the characters’ official marital status.

“It is a format adaptable to the culture and social values of the host country,” Turali was quoted as saying. “In some countries they never got married. In others, like Lebanon, they were a married couple from the start.”

A similar plot fix has been made to the popular cop show “Behzat Ç.,” in which the lead actor, a maverick homicide detective, was finally hitched to his long-time girlfriend. “

Source : Hürriyet Daily News

“Turkish media expands global presence” – SES Türkiye

By Menekse Tokyay for SES Türkiye in Istanbul — 29/05/12

While Turkish soap operas have received much fanfare outside the country, much less noticed is the news media’s expansion to regions of strategic interest.

Turkish media has embarked on an ambitious agenda of projecting its reach in multiple languages throughout the Balkans and in regions where Turkey has strategic interests, as the country asserts itself on the international stage.

Through its media, Turkey is reinforcing a positive image, tapping into what Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has described as Turkey’s “strategic depth.”

Until recently the state-run Anatolia News Agency (AA) published in Turkish and English, but expanded in March to publish in Bosnian, Serbian and Croatian through a new bureau in Sarajevo.

An Arabic service that will be based in Egypt’s capital, Cairo, was launched this month. In co-operation with media in Arab countries, Turkish and Middle Eastern news will be provided to Turkish and Arab audiences.

An Azeri and Russian service will also begin within months, and by 2020, AA’s 100th anniversary, it plans to publish in 11 languages, including Kurdish, Chinese, French, Spanish and German.

Kemal Kaptaner, director of the corporate communications unit at AA, said the bureau in Sarajevo, for example, gives priority to news about the bilateral relations between Turkey and regional countries in order to emphasise the proximity between people in cultural and social terms.

“Before our services were launched, Turkey was newsworthy only when there was a terrorist attack. But now, thanks to AA’s services, people of the region can be much more aware about social, cultural and economic developments in Turkey,” he told SES Türkiye .

Turkey’s parliament passed a bill in March 2008 allowing the state-owned TRT to broadcast programmes in languages other than Turkish. The law paved the way for broadcasts in Turkey’s “near abroad,” where it has played a more prominent economic and political role. Broadcasts now cover the Middle East, Central Asia and the Caucuses, the Balkans and Turkish communities in Europe. TRT Arabic, for example, can reach an audience of 350 million people.

The decision to establish TRT-SES in Kurdish also attracted much attention. It was viewed as a positive step to expand Kurdish cultural and linguistic rights in Turkey and also reach Kurdish-speaking communities outside Turkey’s borders in the Middle East and Europe.

Voice of Turkey, a radio channel under the auspices of TRT, broadcasts in 35 languages and is the world’s fourth largest radio station in terms of the number of foreign languages broadcast.

Telling of its role in foreign policy, Voice of Turkey’s first broadcast was an Arabic transmission of former Prime Minister Ismet Inonu’s speech on the Hatay issue in 1937, before the ethnically mixed province was annexed by Turkey from Syria in 1939.

This expansion of media parallels the pro-active foreign policy role Turkey has played in its region over the past decade.

According to Mucahit Kucukyilmaz of the Ankara-based SETA Foundation, up until the early 2000s Turkish media didn’t grasp the scope of the country’s expanding foreign policy, leaving Turkey behind its Western peers.

“For example, we had been informed of the news from the Middle East through a translated language. So, whatever the Western news agencies viewpoint was, we adopted the same,” Kucukyilmaz told SES Türkiye .

The same point was raised by Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc in a series of Twitter posts May 15th when AA Arabic was launched.

“We have all been witness to grave manipulations that astonished us in the Middle Eastern geography, particularly during the Gulf War. Prestigious news agencies that we all know were the leaders of operations with their broadcasts. Not only in the Middle East; we witnessed the same thing in Bosnia. The media remained insensitive for a long time to the seriousness of events,” Arinc wrote.

In the past, Turkish media had difficulty keeping pace with global trends and regional events, something AA is working to overcome.

“There were a handful of journalists who knew Arabic, Russian, Persian and even Kurdish. Nobody really cared to open representation offices or hire journalists, even in our neighbouring regions,” Kucukyilmaz said.

But over the past decade TRT and AA assumed the lead in orienting the future of Turkish media by investing in multi-lingual staff, making field studies, and developing technical and intellectual capacity.

Hakan Copur, a media expert from the Turkish Presidency, says that inward-looking and unassertive countries need no multilingual journalism or broadcasting.

“However, for a country like Turkey, whose zone of influence goes beyond its national boundaries, such a trend is not a luxury but rather a necessity,” Copur told SES Türkiye .

He said elements of soft power are just as important as hard power in global politics. “Especially public diplomacy needs such tools to merge public communication and diplomacy,” he said. “In this regard, multilingual broadcasts will form a foundation for Turkey to utilise its soft power not only in the region, but in global politics as well.”

Plamen Ralchev, an assistant professor at the University of National and World Economy in Sofia, focusing on strategic communications, international public relations and public diplomacy, said that a keen understanding of local languages will bring Turkey closer to the foreign audience.

“The majority of Bulgarians have no clue about this language, so if TRT International launches a Bulgarian-language broadcast it will definitely improve communication channels delivering messages to a Bulgarian audience,” he said.

Paraphrasing the Turkish Airlines slogan “Globally Yours,” he says that with TRT and AA, Turkish media has become “globally public.”

“What is more significant is making Turkey’s voice heard internationally, Turkey’s views expressed and spread around, Turkey’s commitment to a global posture comprehended. Definitely, Turkey has a story to tell … and to sell, too,” Ralchev said.”

Source : SES Türkiye

“Turkish viewers complain about dramas” – Hürriyet Daily News

Turkey’s internationally recognized TV series ‘Magnificent Century’ ranks second on the list of TV productions that Turkish viewers complain most, according to RTÜK. Source : Hürriyet

Complaints received by the Turkish Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK) in the first three months of the year show that Turkish viewers complain about TV dramas and commercials the most.

According to information gathered from the RTÜK’s report, its website and communication center received 27,363 complaints from citizens in January, February and March. Out of this figure, 9,530 complaints were about TV dramas and 4,818 were about commercials.

Most of the complaints were made according to the criteria that programs were against public morals and the protection of the family.

The TV drama that received the most complains was “Yer Gök Aşk” (Love is Everywhere), which received 742 complaints. The other two were “Muhteşem Yüzyıl” (Magnificent Century) and “Suskunlar” (The Silent).

Honey and toothpaste

Among commercials, viewers complained about honey commercials the most, as they mislead consumers. A toothpaste commercial ranked second as it was considered depressing, while a potato chip commercial ranked third as it portrayed women as sexual tools and was insulting to men.”

Source : Hürriyet Daily News

“Turkey, Greece bridge cultural gap with romance” – SES Türkiye

By Menekse Tokyay and HK Tzanis for SES Türkiye in Istanbul and Athens — 21/05/12

“Romance and “clandestine relationships” between ordinary Greeks and Turks is again the vehicle for another big-budget Turkish romantic comedy. The theme is far from uncommon in real life.

“Iki Yaka Bir Ismail” (Two Shores, One Ismail), the new Turkish romance series — shot on location on the eastern Aegean island of Lesvos (Mytilene) and in Aivali, across from the island in Turkey — was released earlier this month.

Playing on the theme of mixed marriage — this time between a Turkish fisherman and Greek island divorcee — it follows the wildly popular Turkish series “Yabanci Dama” (Foreign Groom), which debuted in 2004.

“For me, [mixed marriage] is no longer a taboo — I know of many Greeks now married to Turkish women, and quite a few Turkish men married to Greek wives. They live here in Mytilene, several in Aivali, in Larissa [in central Greece], everywhere,” according to actress Eleni Filini, one of the protagonists in the new series and a former beauty queen in the 1980s.

Take the real life couple of Aslihan Ozkara and Nikos Dimos, who met at a party a few years ago in Istanbul. In August 2008, the couple married in a surprise wedding held in the same Bosporus metropolis.

Ozkara told SES Türkiye the fact that she and her husband hailed from different ethnic backgrounds meant nothing, as they are very similar as individuals.

Contrary to expectations, the marriage was well-received by their respective families.

“Probably because our families had lived abroad for a long time and were used to such mixed marriages, so it wasn’t perceived as something unusual,” she explained, adding that her husband’s family is also the product of a mixed marriage.

“So we, in a sense, continued a tradition. Nikos’ father was Greek and his mother Turkish. So, we didn’t see any weird reaction,” Ozkara said.

She added, however, that their marriage helped overcome certain latent and deeply rooted prejudices in their immediate social circles. “Through our marriage we tried to establish a bridge between these two cultures; to know each other and to understand each other in better ways,” she said.

Another successful “love story” from both sides of the Aegean is the Tsitselikis-Ozgunes family.

Meric Ozgunes and Constantinos Tsitselikis met at a Greek-Turkish civic dialogue workshop and currently live in the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki.

“Our respective nationalities definitely did not lead us to have a negative perception [of each other]. We were already involved in Turkish-Greek issues and open to dialogue; and a lot more than our nationalities united us. We were, in any case, against nationalism and cherished multi-culturalism,” Ozgunes told SES Türkiye.

The couple was married during an official wedding ceremony in 2005, conducted in both Turkish and Greek, in Thessaloniki. As the parents of young children, they have neither baptised the children in the Orthodox Christian faith or ceremoniously circumcised them, as per the Muslim ritual.

“We will leave this decision to their will,” Ozgunes explained.

Asked about reactions towards the marriage, Tsitselikis said both families were very respectful of their decision, with the only queries coming from acquaintances or neighbours, who asked about the ubiquitous issue of religion.

“We had to face questions regarding what religion our children would have, if we were to have any,” he said.

Tsitselikis and Ozgunes said they believe the impact of such marriages can only be measured on their immediate social and professional circles.

“It definitely allowed some people around us, such as relatives and neighbours, to come into contact with the ‘other’, to put flesh and bone to a ‘Turk’ or a ‘Greek’, and therefore, it helped break certain stereotypes,” Ozgunes explained.

Ayse Gunduz Hosgor, an expert on mixed marriages from the Ankara-based Middle East Technical University, underlined that mixed marriages are a contributing factor to integration for at least one of the two partners.

“When we discuss mixed marriages amongst different ethnicities, the level of education and professional sophistication are determinants in laying the groundwork for potential partners [of different cultures] to meet each other,” Hosgor told SES Türkiye.

Nevertheless, she also pointed to the importance of religion when assessing the sustainability of such marriages.

Beyond the interest generated by real life mixed marriages, “Iki Yaka Bir Ismail” is already generating a tourism boon on Lesvos via a cascade of reservations by Turkish tourists, according to travel agency owner Aris Lazaris, who helped co-ordinate the series’ shooting on the large island, which the locals call Mytilene, after the name of the capital city.

“We went from hell in the off-season, due to the repercussions of the economic crisis and cancellations of reservations by foreign tour operators, to our phones ringing off the hooks,” the Mytilene entrepreneur said.”

Source : SES Türkiye

“Tajiks ban Turkish dramas for being violent” – Hürriyet Daily News

“Authorities in the Central Asian nation of Tajikistan have banned several hugely popular Turkish television series over concerns that the violence in them could have a bad influence on viewers.

State film and video agency head Davlat Safarov said Wednesday that the shows in question contain what he described as elements of terrorism and extremism.

The Turkish shows, which are distributed locally on DVDs and are dubbed by well-known Tajik actors, have gained a huge following in Tajikistan over the past two years and are relatively tame melodramas by U.S. and Russian standards.

The move is unusual for this moderate Muslim former Soviet nation, but authorities have lately demonstrated deep concern over anything they deem to be a manifestation of radical Islamism.”

Source : Hürriyet Daily News

“TV watchdog launches new rating inspections” – Hürriyet Daily News

Davut Dursun says the new rating measurement system should be trustworthy. AA photo. Source: Hürriyet

“A new draft of regulations for Turkey’s TV rating system, which said the Supreme Board of Radio and Television (RTÜK) will introduce a strict inspection mechanism, has been presented by RTÜK head Davut Dursun.

Dursun said the new mechanism will be based on four steps. The committee that will measure the ratings will be a legal entity, Dursun said, adding that publishers and broadcasters will take a much more active role in the measurement committee than before.

The new rating system will introduce rating mechanisms into towns with populations of over 5,000, Dursun said. The previous minimum population number was 20,000.

There will be more than one mechanism to inspect rating measurements, Dursun said.

“First there will be an internal inspector firm which conforms to international standards. Second an independent institution will check the outcomes from that firm. Third RTÜK will inspect them all,” Dursun said.

Dursun said RTÜK would rather to stay out of the issue, but that Parliament had changed its instructions on the subject, which gave them regulation and supervision duties.

“Our good will should not be abused,” Dursun said.

“It is a milestone for RTÜK to take part in the rating measurement system. I cannot say that this development will solve the problems because consensus among the actors is a must here. The new model we are talking about needs to be trustworthy. RTÜK is a new actor and now this institution will have a right to inspect and fine whenever it wants,” Professor Ali Atıf Bir, head of the advertising department at Bahçeşehir University told the Hürriyet Daily News April 27.

In December 2011, the Istanbul Üsküdar Prosecutor’s office launched a case against television rating agencies, finding that production companies had paid respondents to vote in favor of the television programs of their choice. The police raided AGB and several other production companies at the time.”

Source : Hürriyet Daily News

“Doğan TV chairwoman gets leadership award” – Hürriyet Daily News

Doğan TV Holding Chairwoman Arzuhan Doğan Yalçındağ receives her award. DHA photo

“Doğan TV Holding Chairwoman Arzuhan Doğan Yalçındağ, Nurol Holding Deputy Chairman Oğuz Çarmıklı and Tekfen Holding Founding Chairman Ali Nihat Gökyiğit received leadership awards at the ninth Leadership Summit held in Istanbul yesterday.

Speaking at the event Yalçındağ said leadership is a characteristic that one is born with but develops in life. Female leaders are more perfection-seeking while male leaders are more result-focused, Yalçındağ said during a session with TV programmer Cüneyt Özdemir.

“I would like to mention my mother and father, who raised us with the traditions of Anatolia. A leader should be brave, capable of making different decisions and know when to quit.”

“I hate the word postponing,” said Gökyiğit in a session. “A leader never postpones things but addresses them.” Coşkun Çoroğlu said in his opening speech that the meetings within the scope of the Leadership Summit contributed much to the vision of young leader candidates.”

Source : Hürriyet Daily News

” Comedy ‘Yalan Dünya’ sweeps third Antalya Television Awards ” – Sunday’s Zaman

The cast of the Kanal D comedy “Yalan Dünya” pose for photos at the 3rd Antalya Television Awards. (Photo: AA, source : Sunday's Zaman)

“The Turkish comedy TV show “Yalan Dünya” (Fake World) became the big winner at this year’s Antalya Television Awards on Saturday, taking home five trophies in the comedy category, including best comedy series and best director for a comedy series.

“Yalan Dünya,” which airs every Friday on Kanal D and follows a group of smalltime actors and hipsters living in İstanbul’s upscale Cihangir quarter, also won best actor in a comedy series, best supporting actor and best supporting actress in a comedy series at Saturday’s awards ceremony, aired live on the private television station TV8.

Saturday’s ceremony marked the third edition of the annual awards, a joint venture between the Greater Antalya Municipality and the Antalya Foundation for Culture and Art (AKSAV), who are also the organizers of the southern province’s long-running Altın Portakal (Golden Orange) International Film Festival.

The ceremony also served as an occasion to pay tribute to recently deceased TV scriptwriter and actress Meral Okay, whose immensely popular screenwriting effort “Muhteşem Yüzyıl” (The Magnificent Century) won four prizes, including the best script for a drama series, for the late Okay. The announcement brought tears to the eyes of those in attendance at the packed gala, who commemorated her with a standing ovation, the Anatolia news agency reported. “Muhteşem Yüzyıl,” an account of the intrigue-ridden 16th-century Ottoman court during the reign of Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent aired every Wednesday on Show TV, also won the best director of photography in a series, best art direction in a series and best period drama awards.

Other winners included Kanal D’s “Öyle Bir Geçer Zaman ki” (As Time Goes By), which won best actress in a drama series, best supporting actor and best supporting actress in a drama series and best score for a series; and atv’s “Hayat Devam Ediyor” (Life Goes On), which won the best drama series award.

Veteran radio and TV show host Orhan Boran was honored with the Radio Honor Award but was unable to attend the ceremony to accept his award due to health reasons. Eighty-three-year-old Boran told the gala in a live telephone call that he was honored to be recognized and especially glad he was considered for the award despite having been away from the limelight for more than 10 years. “I am going through a tough battle for my health. Receiving this award has given me an immeasurable morale boost,” he added.”

Source : Sunday’s Zaman

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