“Bringing together soap opera fans and religious figures” – Al Arabiya

“Last summer, airplanes traveling to Turkey were filled with young man and women who were fans of the Arabic-dubbed Turkish soap opera “Noor.” Record number of Arab tourists paid a visit to Turkey last summer, holidaying in the land of “Noor.”

As for this summer, it is preachers, imams, and religious figures who are rushing to Turkey, with preachers appearing on television screens calling for viewers to support Turkey and spend their summer holidays there.

Therefore this summer soap opera fans and religious people have – unusually – joined in their love of Turkey, which has become a common ground between them whereas previously it was a source of dispute between the two groups. This was after Imams last year attacked Turkey’s “shameless” soap operas, and called for the Arab public to boycott them. In contrast, merely mentioning Turkey this year elicits praise and support from everybody for the first time since the collapse of the Turkish Ottoman Caliphate. […]”

Source : Al Arabiya

“Turkish soap operas influencing Arab culture and politics” – The Peninsula

“Culture within a community varies from place to place. In the Arab world, and the GCC in particular, culture has a distinctly private and isolated nature consisting of habits, traditions and historical legacies that control the intellect and mind. These traditions command respect and demand sanctity – even those that violate norms, laws and perhaps even some religious teachings relating to justice, equality, acceptance, coexistence, citizenship, and partnership. Evolution of societies’ structure is often a long and complicated process with unidentifiable consequences. Thus, good governance of implications of cultural changes is unachievable until after the evolution has seceded to other generations. In recent years, a different culture has emerged, sweeping down from the north. More specifically, it began in Turkey and gained acceptance and spread widely in the structure of Arab society in an unprecedented manner compared to other cultural influences across the world. Turkish soap operas, movies, and songs dubbed in Arabic are storming GCC homes uninvited. Such media content is dominating public viewership as it is gaining popularity and is watched by millions from across the Atlantic to the Gulf and across continents by Arab expatriates living in Europe and the USA. It is sweeping across online forums and blogs, recording the highest rates of viewership and commentary. So popular is Turkish pop culture amongst Arabs that Turkish productions have surpassed those from Arab and Western countries.

The Turkish newspaper Hurriyet recently published a report on Turkish dramas and soap operas over the past few years. The report indicates that 22 countries are currently importing Turkish dramatic television series. Since Turkey started to export such productions in 2006, they have achieved record sales in the Arab world, Greece and Brazil. Further, the proceeds of Turkish TV production sales exceed $3m annually. Eighteen Turkish series are now airing in North Africa, Greece and Iran, and are among the most widely circulated productions in Egypt, the UAE, Syria, Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon. The Turkish soap opera titled “Noor” has attracted over 85 million Arab viewers over the age of 15 years, consisting of nearly 50 million women, the equivalent of more than half of the adult Arab female viewers of any TV drama in the Arab world in recent years. As for the second most popular Turkish dramatic series in the Arab world, the show “Years Gone Past” has totalled 67 million viewers, including nearly 39 million women.

It would not be an exaggeration to state that there is a significant cultural impact wrought by these TV programmes on the cultural structure of Arab societies. The shared historical and religious circumstances between Turks and Arabs may have played a large role in endearing Turkish culture to Arabs more than to others, and made the impact of its media much stronger. There are several media reports on incidences of jealousy spurred by the stars of Turkish soap operas dubbed into Arabic. Among these incidences are divorce cases in the Arab world where women request that their husbands treat them more romantically, along the lines of what they see on the TV series “Noor”, or show them greater emotion, such as displayed by the star Yahya in the series “Years Gone Past”. One of the most amusing news stories in this regard is that of a Bahraini family that arranged a marriage between a Bahraini young woman named Noor and their son, Mohammed. To the family’s surprise, the reason for a delay in the response to their arrangement was the prospective bride’s desire for Mohammed to change his name to “Mohannad” (similar to the hero’s name on the Turkish series “Noor”). […]”

Source : The Peninsula


“Turks Put Twist in Racy Soaps” – New York Times

From left, Kivanc Tatlitug, Selcuk Yontem and Beren Saat in a scene from “Ask-i Memnu,” the top-rated series in Turkey. Source : Doğan TV & New York Times

“[…] Just another day at the office for the stars of “Gumus,” the Turkish soap opera that during its two-year run here on Kanal D has offered Turks not only the daytime-television miracle of sexual foreplay, but the standard sudsy compendium of shotgun weddings, kidnappings, car accidents and crazy plot twists like the one when the dead girlfriend of the aforementioned married dreamboat turns out to be alive and the mother of his illegitimate baby.

Usual stuff to American aficionados of the genre. But Turkish television has given the soap a fresh twist by making the connivers, kidnappers and canoodlers Muslims. And it is Arab audiences, even more than Turks, who have been swept off their feet.

Led by “Gumus” (“Noor” in Arabic), a wave of Turkish melodramas, police procedurals and conspiracy thrillers — “Yaprak Dokumu,” “Kurtlar Vadisi,” “Asmali Konak,” “Ihlamurlar Altinda” and now the steamy “Ask-i Memnu,” the top-rated series in Turkey (think Madame Bovary on the Bosporus) — are making their way onto Arab televisions, wielding a kind of soft power. […]”

Source : New York Times

“Dizi sektöründe örgütlenmek şart oldu” – Sol

Geçen yıl geceyarısı dizi çekiminden dönen iki set emekçisi trafik kazasında hayatlarını kaybetmişlerdi. Kaynak : Sol

“Türkiye’de kitleleri uyuşturmakta önemli rol oynayan TV dizileri, set emekçilerini de insanlıktan çıkarıyor. Dizilerde çalışan birçok oyuncu, bu tabloya karşı birlikte örgütlenmek gerektiğini söylüyor.

Dizi setlerindeki ağır çalışma koşulları, sektörde çalışan ünlü oyuncuların çıkışları ile yeniden gündeme geldi. Milliyet muhabiri Lube Ayar’ın görüştüğü oyuncular, dizi setlerinde uzun saatler güvencesiz çalışan emekçilerin durumundan rahatsız olduklarını ifade ederek örgütlenmenin gerekliliğine işaret ediyorlar.

Kanalların yeterince reklam arası verebilmek ve birbirleriyle reyting rekabetine girebilmek için gittikçe uzattığı bölüm süreleri 90 ila 110 dakikaya varırken, oyuncular bu sürenin dünya standartlarında 40-50 dakika olduğunu vurguluyor. Bölüm süreleri uzadıkça set emekçileri günde 16-18 saat çalışmaya mecbur ediliyor. Ayrıca yapımcı şirketlerin çoğu sigortasız işçi çalıştırıyor. İşte dizi sektöründe çalışan bazı oyuncuların bu gidişatın nasıl değiştirilebileceği konusundaki görüşleri:” […]

Source : Sol

“State-owned TRT channels withdraw from rating system” – Today’s Zaman

The Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT) announced yesterday that its channels will no longer be included in audience measurements provided by AGB Nielsen Media Research, which has been conducting TV audience research in Turkey since 1989.

TRT officials said in a written statement that the Television Audience Research Commission (TİAK), the joint industry committee responsible for awarding the contract for managing Turkey’s TV audience measurement system, has violated competition regulations.(…)

Source : Today’s Zaman

“Turkish TV series become subject of Bulgarian documentary” – Hürriyet Daily News

” Bulgarian reporter Kristina Vladimirova has prepared a 15-minute documentary to determine why Turkish TV series have attracted such extraordinary interest in her country. She said the Bulgarian viewers with whom she spoke felt close to the family models in the Turkish series

Several Turkish television series, which began airing on Bulgarian television last summer, have become the subject of a documentary in the country.

More than 10 Turkish TV series, including “Gümüş” (Silver), “Binbir Gece” (1001 Nights), “Yabancı Damat” (The Foreign Groom), “Yaprak Dökümü” (The Fall of Leaves), “Asi” and “Annem” (My Mother) have drawn great interest from Bulgarians. The shows’ high viewer rates have become the subject of a documentary in the country.

In her 15-minute documentary, Kristina Vladimirova, a reporter from the private BTV channel that airs “Gümüş,” “Yabancı Damat” and “Yaprak Dökümü,” talked to scientists and audiences in an attempt to determine why the series have attracted such extraordinary interest.

“When compared to Latin American series, Turkish ones get 50 percent more ratings,” said BTV Program Coordinator Ventzislava Konova.

Given the present dominance of the TV medium, Plamen Bochkov, an anthropologist at New Bulgarian University, said, “If Shakespeare were alive today, he would write scripts for TV series.”

Social psychologist Plamen Dimitrov compared the female characters of Turkish series to heroes in tales such as “Snow White” and “Cinderella,” arguing that the contemporary media has filled the place previously filled by older children’s stories. “There is no emptiness in culture, old children stories have become the themes of TV series,” he said.

Vladimirova said women were always in the background in Latin American TV series because of the strong effect of the Catholic Church. Turkey, however, was a place where modern and traditional worlds met and families were central, she said. “There is a respect for old people in modern Turkish families.”

Vladimirova said the Bulgarian viewers with whom she spoke felt close to the family models in the Turkish series. “The respect for the elderly affected Bulgarians.”

Image of Turks changed

Turkologist Jana Jelyazkova said Bulgarians had different opinions about Turkish people before watching Turkish TV series but that “they have now seen the truth.”

The documentary argues that Turkish TV series have affected Bulgarians’ domestic relations and even name traditions. There are reports that newborn babies were given the names of characters from the series and that Bulgarians’ travel destinations had even changed as well.

“The number of Bulgarian tourists traveling to Turkey has increased by 40 percent. They want to visit the places where TV series are made,” Jelyazkova said.

Source : Hürriyet Daily News

“TNS trumps AGB Nielsen in race for Turkish TV ratings contract” – Resarch-live

“TURKEY— AGB Nielsen and Turkey’s TV audience measurement body, TÍAK, have launched a legal investigation after some members of Nielsen’s TV panel reported being offered money to change their viewing habits.

TNS will establish a 3,500 household panel, with each home fitted with the 5000 Series Modular PeopleMeter. The panel will begin reporting data from 2011 and TNS’s InfoSys software will be used for analysis.

In a statement, AGB Nielsen’s Turkey MD Craig Johnson said the firm was “naturally disappointed” to lose the contract, but vowed to “continue to work hard to deliver high quality data and service” until the hand-over date.(…)”

Source : Research-live.com

“Séduits par les feuilletons turcs, les touristes arabes affluent en Turquie” – RTL Info Belgique

Source : Turquie News

“Avec leurs héros glamours, leurs héroïnes émancipées et leurs décors de rêve, les séries télévisées turques diffusées dans le monde arabe ont créé un engouement sans précédent pour la Turquie, qui voit affluer les touristes venus marcher sur les pas de leurs acteurs préférés.

Cem Polatoglu a du mal à y croire : en l’espace d’un an, son agence de voyage Baracuda Turizm, spécialisée sur le marché arabe, a doublé le nombre de ses clients. Et pour lui, il n’y a pas d’erreur possible, ce sont bien les feuilletons, à commencer par le désormais célèbre “Nour” et son héros Mohannad aux yeux bleus et au sourire ravageur qui sont à l’origine de cet afflux. “Avant, on emmenait les touristes arabes visiter les mosquées d’Istanbul, on allait aux thermes de Bursa (l’ancienne Brousse, nord-ouest). Maintenant, plus personne ne veut y aller, aux cures thermales”, raconte-t-il. “Tout le monde veut visiter les maisons où les séries ont été tournées, dîner dans le restaurant vu à la télé”.(…)”

Source : RTL Info Belgique

“AGB Nielsen to investigate Turkish TV tampering” – Research-live

“TURKEY— AGB Nielsen and Turkey’s TV audience measurement body, TÍAK, have launched a legal investigation after some members of Nielsen’s TV panel reported being offered money to change their viewing habits.

Craig Johnson, AGB Nielsen’s managing director in Turkey, told Researchthat some families said they were offered up to 300 Lira a month (approximately £130) to watch certain programmes and switch off during advert breaks.

He said: “We were alerted by one of our households on 10 April that they had been contacted by a third party. We don’t know who this third party is and we’re not going to speculate. We’re going through the due legal process to identify them.”(…)”

Source : Research-live.com

“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

“Kapitalizmi Aramayın! Ne Yerdedir Ne de Gökte!” – Sol

Yazar : Ahmet Alpay Dikmen

“Bugün piknik tüpü almak için tüpçüye gittim. İçeride şöyle bir ortamla karşılaşıyorsunuz: Ortalık pislik içerisinde, oraya buraya yığılmış rengi kaçmış küçüklü büyüklü tüpler. Masanın üzerinde kırık dökük tornavidalar, penseler. Kirli peşkirler, yıkanmamış tabaklar ve içerisinde hala yemek kırıntıları olan alüminyum bir tencere ve dükkanın içine girer girmez burnunuzun direğini sızlatan kesif bir yemek kokusu… Ama, hepsinden önemlisi sürekli yerli dizi gösteren renkli bir televizyon. Herkesin gözü bu televizyonda… Tüpü değiştirirken, parayı alıp para üstü verirken gözler sadece kısacık bir an için televizyondan kaçırılıyor. Para alınıyor, televizyona bir göz atılıyor, para kasaya konuluyor, tekrar televizyona bir göz atılıyor, sonra tekrar kasaya bakıp para üstü aranıyor ve tekrar gözler televizyondaki diziye kayıyor. Sizin yüzünüze bu süreçte bir kez bile bakılmıyor. Aslında, orada o anda dizideki hayat yaşanıyor. Ne o dükkan söz konusu aslında, ne iş ne de müşteri. Tüm bunlar televizyondaki yerli dizileri seyretmek için birer araç. Hayat dizilerde geçiyor. Diziler gerçek hayatı anlamsızlaştırıp kendilerinin ‘gerçek’ olduklarını iddia ediyorlar. Gerçeği alaşağı ediyorlar. Sahte olanı ‘gerçek’ kılıyorlar. Basit hayatların basit anlamları dizilerdeki anlamsızlıklarda anlam buluyor. Dizi dışında yaşanan gerçek, gerçek değil sahte haline dönüşüyor!

Benzer bir sahneyi yine mahallemdeki berberde de her defasında yaşıyorum. Yine her defasında televizyon açık ve yine yerli diziler var. Ama, müşteriye orada biraz daha fazla zaman ayrılıyor. Mecburiyetten!.. Bir favori düzeltiliyor, bir süre diziye bakılıyor. Bu esnada askerden yeni gelmiş, gencecik bir çocuk olan berberimin o an sanki dükkandan kaçtığını hissediyorum. Ben, berber dükkanı, elindeki makas sanki yok oluyor. O an sadece televizyona bakıyor. Sonra birden hızla toparlanıp saçın yanlarını düzeltiyor. Ardından bir süreliğine daha dizide kayboluveriyor.

Bu aralar mahallemdeki esnafın tümünde bu dikkatimi çekiyor. Dükkanlarında birer televizyon ve televizyonda da yerli dizi….” […]

Source : Sol

“La série turque qui sème la zizanie dans les couples” – Le Monde Diplomatique

“Durant le mois de ramadan, les séries télévisées occupent une place centrale dans le monde arabe. Le soir, au dîner de rupture du jeûne, la famille se réunit autour du repas et du petit écran. Dans les années 1990, les séries syriennes ont remplacé les sempiternels feuilletons égyptiens. Mais, aujourd’hui, c’est une production turque qui sème la zizanie dans les couples et pose la question du droit des femmes.

« Nour suscite divorces et tensions au sein des couples dans le monde arabe » ; « Mohannad, l’homme dont rêvent les femmes, crée des problèmes sans frontières ! »… Jour après jour, les médias se font l’écho du phénomène « Nour ». Cette série turque aurait pu n’être qu’un énième feuilleton dans le flot déversé par les chaînes satellitaires arabes. Mais voilà : « Nour » a débordé du petit écran pour devenir un phénomène de société. Certains oseraient presque parler de mouvement social…

Petits et grands, hommes et (surtout) femmes ne rateraient pour rien au monde les tribulations du couple formé par Nour et Mohannad. La série éclipse même la politique dans les discussions quotidiennes. Selon le propriétaire de la chaîne MBC, M. Walid Al-Ibrahim, qui la diffuse à travers le monde arabe, rien qu’en Arabie saoudite, pays de vingt-huit millions d’habitants, elle a attiré chaque jour trois à quatre millions de téléspectateurs.

Suite à la mort accidentelle de sa petite amie Nihal, Mohannad plonge dans une grave dépression. Son grand-père Fekri Bek décide alors de le marier à Nour, une jeune femme de la campagne que Mohannad avait aimée dans son enfance. Le couple est entraîné dans un tourbillon d’événements épiques : enlèvements, emprisonnements, tentatives d’assassinat… Ce scénario assez convenu, qui lui a d’ailleurs valu de faibles audiences en Turquie lors de sa diffusion en 2005, amène à s’interroger sur les raisons d’un tel succès dans les sociétés arabes.

L’explication tient en trois éléments : « Al-Atf wa al romansiyya wa Muhannad » (« Sentiment, romance et Mohannad »). Au-delà des ingrédients habituels de ce genre de feuilleton, la surprise vient en effet de celui qu’on appelle déjà le « Brad Pitt du monde arabe » : Kivanç Tatlitug, désormais plus connu sous le nom de Mohannad, mannequin de 24 ans que la série a révélé en tant qu’acteur et promu idole du monde arabe.” […]

Source : Le Monde Diplomatique

“The Turkish Soap Opera “Noor”, More Real than Life” – Qantara

Photographs depicting the lead characters of Turkish TV soap 'Noor' are being arranged in a factory in the West Bank city of Hebron. Source : Qantara

” From Saudi Arabia to Morocco: Every evening the Turkish series “Noor” draws millions of people to their television sets. The show is about love, intimacy and equality; no social taboo is ignored. Some see in “Noor” proof of social change, others only fiction. Alfred Hackensberger reports

[…] This is male behavior that women here only know from Western film productions and that does not occur in Arab TV productions. For many female viewers gentle Mohannad is a male ideal.

“Our society”, explains the Vice President of Bahrain’s Women’s Union, Fatima Rabea, “is not accustomed to such intimacy and love. We are so busy with our everyday lives that a loving relationship takes a back seat. The TV series ‘Noor’ has now awakened the desire for this.”

“Satanic and immoral,” is how the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia described the Turkish television series “Noor” while demanding that TV stations immediately cancel this “attack on God and his prophets”.

In the Palestinian city of Nablus a member of the parliament and preacher from the radical Islamist party Hamas warned against the series, which violates “religion, values, and tradition”.

The criticism from both conservative dignitaries is not directed solely at the liberal TV role model of man and woman. The Turkish soap opera has broken other social taboos in conservative Muslim societies, which has also contributed to the success of the series. […]”

Source : Qantara.de

“Turkey eyes reform of media ownership law -paper” – Reuters

“Turkey’s government is preparing a reform which would allow foreigners to own 50 percent of private broadcasters rather than a current 25 percent, Sabah newspaper reported on Saturday.

Sabah, without citing sources, said the draft reform law had been presented to the prime minister’s office.

The current law was an obstacle in last year’s sale of media firm ATV-Sabah, bankers and analysts said.

After several foreign firms showed interest, the company — which includes Sabah newspaper — was sold to local conglomerate Calik Holding for the minimum auction price of $1.1 billion.

The pro-business AK Party tried to reform the law on foreign ownership in 2005 but the bill was vetoed by the former president. Current President Abdullah Gul is a former member of the AK Party and has a track record of approving legislation passed by the AK-dominated parliament.

Turkey’s fast-growing media sector is dominated by Dogan Yayin Holding (DYHOL.IS). The second largest company is ATV-Sabah, which is made up of assets seized by a state body from the Ciner Group last year and which was sold to Calik in December.

Third largest is the media business of unlisted conglomerate Cukurova, which, according to sources familiar with the situation, has been looking to sell a stake in its media assets.

A large and young population, coupled with annual economic growth of around 5 percent makes the Turkish media market attractive to investors. Companies which expressed an interest in ATV-Sabah included News Corp. NWSA.N and Europe’s largest commercial broadcaster RTL AUDK.LU. (Reporting by Emma Ross-Thomas, Editing by Peter Blackburn)”

Source : Reuters

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