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Turkish television series (Turkish: televizyon dizileri) are wildly popular both in Turkey and internationally, and place among the country's most well known economic and cultural exports.[1][2] Turkey is world's second highest TV series exporter after US.[3]The television series industry has played a pivotal role in increasing Turkey's popularity in the Balkans, the Caucasus, Russia, Latin America, Turkic countries, Central Asia, Pakistan, Azerbaijan, Iran and the Arab world.[4][5]Turkey world's second highest TV series exporter after US.[6][2] In a survey carried out in 16 Middle Eastern countries by the Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation, three out of four of those surveyed said they had seen a Turkish television series.[7] Turkish television shows are almost always available in multiple languages, dubbed or subtitled to fit the target country's language. The success of tv series has boosted tourism as well, as visitors are keen to see the locations used for their favourite shows.[8] The Turkish tv series' immense international popularity has been widely commented on as a social phenomenon.[9]

Turkish seriess feature relatively high production values, with average production costs of nearly $100,000 per hour for high quality series, compared to $35,000 to $40,000 for Arab productions.[10] Since 2001, 65 Turkish television series have been sold abroad, bringing in over $50 million to the booming Turkish television industry.[11] In 2012, Turkish tv series exports were worth $130 million,[12] up from just $1 million in 2007.[13] Turkish series are mostly produced in Istanbul, as television companies chose to settle there after the wave of liberalization for private television in the 1990s.[14]

Turkish television channels producing tv series include TRT, Kanal D, SHOW, STAR, ATV, FOX, tv8, Samanyolu and Kanal 7.[13] The Turkish tv series market is marked by stiff local competition: out of the 60 series produced every year in the country, almost 50% don't run for longer than 13 episodes due to the strong competition among the different local channels, resulting in the high-quality of the productions and contributing to their popularity.[15]

International popularity[edit]

Turkey and Northern Cyprus[edit]

In 2015, is reported that the four Turkish series most successful around the world are Muhteşem Yüzyıl, Fatmagül'ün Suçu Ne?, Aşk-ı Memnu and Binbir Gece.[16] Also, the most popular Turkish actor around the world is Halit Ergenç, [17] and the most popular Turkish actrees around the world is Beren Saat.[18][19]

Balkans and Southeastern Europe[edit]

Turkish TV shows are widely successful all over the Balkan Region. The most watched show in Bosnia and Herzegovina was Muhteşem Yüzyıl (Magnificent Century). In Kosovo, the most popular TV shows in December 2012 were Fatmagül'ün Suçu Ne? (What is Fatmagül's Fault?), which ranked top of all programmes and Aşk ve Ceza (Love and Punishment), which came in third according to data by Index Kosova. In Serbia, research from January 2013 indicates that the top two Turkish shows in TV were Muhteşem Yüzyıl, which ranked fourth, and Öyle Bir Geçer Zaman Ki (As Time Goes By), which came in seventh. Serbian sociologist Ratko Božović explains this popularity by pointing at the traditional, patriarchal values of the Turkish shows, and the many cultural and linguistic similarities between Turkey and the Balkan countries: "The mentality depicted in those shows has to do with a traditional understanding of morality that people in Serbia remember at some level". According to him, all Balkan countries have seen dramatic changes in terms of family life, and the Turkish shows help them recall value systems that now seem lost.[20]

In Macedonia, Öyle Bir Geçer Zaman Ki (As Time Goes By) ranked in January 2013 the top in terms of viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research.[20] In fact, Turkish shows are so successful in Macedonia that the government has passed a bill to restrict broadcasts of Turkish series during the day and at prime time in order to reduce the Turkish impact on Macedonian society.[21]

They are also widely watched by Bulgarian viewers.[22] Nova Televizia broke the record for viewer numbers when it started broadcasting the Turkish TV series Binbir Gece. The channel then decided to broadcast another Turkish show, Dudaktan Kalbe.[23]

The series Binbir Gece (One Thousand and One Nights) became a primetime hit in Bosnia, Montenegro and Macedonia, as well as in Romania, Albania and Greece.[24] It has increased the popularity of Istanbul as a tourist destination among Croatians, and led to a greater interest in learning Turkish.[25]

In Slovakia, the popularity of Turkish series has improved the public image of Turkey itself.[26]

Turkish TV series are also popular in Greece.[2][27] The Greek orthodox Bishop Anthimos has criticised Greek fans of Turkish TV series.[28] Yabancı Damat (The Foreign Bridesgroom) was one of the first Turkish series to become popular in Greece.[29]

Arab world[edit]

Turkish series are in demand in the Arab world.[10] They are prevalent on Egyptian television, and are popular among women in particular.[30]

Turkish TV series began to rise in popularity across the Arab world in 2008, when Waleed bin Ibrahim Al Ibrahim began buying up Turkish series for his Middle East Broadcasting Center. Instead of dubbing the shows in classical Arabic, they were rendered in Syrian Arabic, a dialectal variant readily understood by ordinary viewers across the Middle East.[31]

Led by Gümüş (known as Noor in the Arab market), a wave of Turkish melodramas made their way onto Arab televisions, wielding a kind of soft power.[32] The show violated the local conservative cultural norms, showing some Muslim characters drinking wine with dinner and engaging in premarital sex.[33] The Arabic-dubbed finale of the Turkish TV series Gümüş (Silver), aired on August 30, 2008, was watched by 85 million viewers.[34] In 2008, the grand mufti of Saudi Arabia Abdul Aziz al-Sheikh issued a fatwa against channels that broadcast Gümüş, saying anyone who broadcast it was "an enemy of God and his Prophet".[35]

In 2013, the most popular Turkish show is Fatmagül'ün Suçu Ne?, Aşk-ı Memnu and Muhteşem Yüzyıl.The most successful series in Turkey is Aşk-ı Memnu, which has broken rating records there.[36]

Fatmagül'ün Suçu has increased the popularity of Istanbul as a tourist destination among Arabs.[37] In 2015 küçük gelin was very popular, it was made by Samanyolu TV but unfortunately samanyolu TV was shut down so küçük gelin didn't have a proper ending.Some Turkish series are more appealing to women, while some action series attract male audiences, which helps attract different types of advertisers for different viewerships.[10] Some series have political overtones, including Ayrılık, which depicts the daily life of Palestinians under Israeli military occupation.[38] Despite this, Islamic conservatives in many Middle Eastern countries have condemned Turkish series as "vulgar" and "heretical" to Islam.[35]

Latin America[edit]

In Latin America, the most popular Turkish shows are Fatmagül'ün Suçu Ne? and Binbir Gece.[39]


Turkish TV series have become very popular in Afghanistan, ratings going higher than the traditional Indian TV series that Afghans watched. TOLO, a TV station in Afghanistan. The most popular Turkish show is Fatmagül'ün Suçu Ne? (What is Fatmagül's Fault?).[40] Another series as Öyle Bir Geçer Zaman Ki (As Time Goes By), Beni Affet (Forgive Me), Effet, Aşk-ı Memnu (Forbidden Love), and Adını Feriha Koydum are popular too.[41]


Turkish television serie is extremely popular in Iran (considering Azerbaijanis, a Turkic people, who are the second ethnic majority in Iran), where they are dubbed into Persian. Among the most popular series are Aşk-ı Memnu and Ezel.[42]


Turkish series are also popular in Pakistan. Aşk-ı Memnu, which has broken ratings records in Turkey,[43][44] aired on the television channel Urdu1 in Pakistan, and has topped ratings being the most successful Turkish Series there.[45] The second most popular series is Fatmagül'ün Suçu Ne?[46] that aired on the same channel, the third best television series is Muhteşem Yüzyıl (Magnificent Century)[46][47] these top three TV Series are said to be the most famous ones ranking highest ratings in terms of Trps(Television Rating Points). According to Pakistani rating network, "Media logic", Aşk-ı Memnu ranked 7.9Trp on average and got 11.99Trp on its Final Episode, Fatmagül'ün Suçu Ne? ranked 6.9-7.6Trp on average and got 10.7Trp on its Final episode. However, it is reported that Muhteşem Yüzyıl ranked around 7.0 to 8.0 Trps on Average. However shows like Adını Feriha Koydum, Karadayı and İntikam were also popular in Pakistan.

Popularity of the Turkish serials was met by controversy: Pakistan's entertainment industry complained that the airing of Turkish and other foreigntv series diverts funding from local productions. Furthermore, religious conservatives in Pakistan have denounced the allegedly un-Islamic nature of the shows.[48] A Senate committee that oversees information and broadcasting has condemned such shows for their allegedly "vulgar content" and contrary to the Pakistan's Muslim traditions.[49] It was also reported that TV series Aşk-i-Mennu, Fatmagül'ün Suçu Ne?, Muhteşem Yuzyil and Adını Feriha Koydum Have aired once agan after its ending due to immense popularity and major demands.


State-owned television channels in Uzbekistan have removed Turkish tv series from their and because of the "rebellious nature" of some of the fictional characters.[50]

The Swedish public broadcaster SVT acquired the series Son (The End), becoming the first major broadcaster in Western Europe to buy a Turkish tv series.[51]

According to Kosovo's index the most popular TV series there is Fatmagül'ün Suçu Ne?

Running time[edit]

An episode of a popular Turkish television series from the 2010s is usually between 120 and 150 minutes in length (excluding advertisements), which is much longer than a typical episode of an American or Western European series. However, when shown in the Balkans and southeastern Europe, Turkish series are mostly cut into episodes not exceeding 60 minutes.

Worker On Strike[edit]

In 2010, Season of Turkish TV series was 30-35 episodes. Each week, one episode is filming in 6 days. It was 90 minutes in length. When TV series broadcast, next 3-4th episode films concurrently. Actors and workers were on strike. So a Turkish TV series has got 2 crew concurrently.[52]

In 2016, Season of Turkish TV series is 35–40 episodes. It is between 120 and 150 minutes in length. Actors and crews complain.[53]

Each series roughly consists of 40 episodes that last about 130 minutes, which translates into 5,200 hours of domestic TV content broadcast yearly. "As a screenwriter, it was wonderful until about 10 years ago. Then I had to write a 60-minute episode per week, as opposed to today's 130-plus minutes. It has become a very mechanical and uninteresting process, just a question of keeping the melodrama going," says Demiray.[54]

Cagri Vila Lostuvali, 10 years in the business and four as a director, adds: "To deliver one episode per week our crews work up to 18 hours a day. This job eats up our entire lives."[55]

"With the increase of the episodes' duration and consequently the amount of working hours, the industry has lost its most experienced professionals who refuse to work in such conditions. Wages have not grown much either," concludes Meric.[56]

To get a sense of proportion, it suffices to think about the process of developing a cinema script, which takes about two years and at least seven weeks to shoot 120 minutes of edited footage. [57]

External links[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Jenna Krajeski. "Turkey: Soap Operas and Politics". Pulitzer Center. Retrieved 2013-01-15. 
  2. ^ a b c Moore, Robbie. "Soap Opera Diplomacy: Turkish TV in Greece". The International. Retrieved 13 February 2013. 
  3. ^ Jenna Krajeski. "Turkey: Soap Operas and Politics". Pulitzer Center. Retrieved 2013-01-15. 
  4. ^ "Television series enhances Turkey's popularity in Arab world". Xinhua. 2011-04-09. 
  5. ^ http://www.dailysabah.com/feature/2016/02/03/the-success-story-of-turkish-tv-series-in-latin-america
  6. ^ Jenna Krajeski. "Turkey: Soap Operas and Politics". Pulitzer Center. Retrieved 2013-01-15. 
  7. ^ "Turkey has a star role in more than just TV drama". The National. 2012-02-08. 
  8. ^ "Fast Track - Desperate soap star for a day". BBC News. 2012-12-21. Retrieved 2013-01-15. 
  9. ^ Alzafeeri, Ahmad. "Turkish Soap Opera and Kuwaiti audiences". Aberystwyth University. 
  10. ^ a b c "Challenge of the Turkish tv series". GulfNews.com. 2012-04-01. Retrieved 2013-01-15. 
  11. ^ "The soft power of Turkish television". SETimes.com. 2011-07-23. 
  12. ^ "Turkish Soap Operas: The Unstoppable Boom". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 13 November 2013. 
  13. ^ a b "Turkish ‘TV series spring’ continues". Hürriyet Daily News. 2012-10-17. 
  14. ^ Paris, Julien. "A Geographical Approach Of Creative Industries: The Case Of Tv Production In Istanbul" (PDF). 
  15. ^ "The Heyday of Turkish Content". ttvMediaNews. 2012-10-10. 
  16. ^ "Dünyada En Çok İzlenen 10 Türk Dizisi". televiziondizisi. Retrieved September 15, 2015. 
  17. ^ "Türk Dizilerinin En Başarılı Erkek Oyuncuları". Televizyondizizi. August 14, 2015. Retrieved October 2, 2015. 
  18. ^ "Türk Dizilerinin En Başarılı Kadın Oyuncuları". televiziondizisi.com. August 14, 2015. Retrieved August 15, 2015. 
  19. ^ "Türk Dizilerinin En Başarılı Kadın Oyuncuları". televizyongazetesi. Retrieved August 16, 2015. 
  20. ^ a b "Turks bewitch the Balkans with their addictive tv seriess". Balkan Insights. Retrieved 2013-05-03. 
  21. ^ "Macedonia bans Turkish tv series". Hurriyet Daily News. Retrieved 2013-01-15. 
  22. ^ "New Turkish Slavery?". Christopher Buxton. Retrieved 2013-01-15. 
  23. ^ "Turkish soap operas take Bulgaria by storm". Hürriyet Daily News. 
  24. ^ "Soap power: The sweeping success of Turkish television series". Oxford Business Group. 
  25. ^ "Retailers cashing in on Croatia´s obsession with Turkish soap". Croatian Times. 2010-09-30. 
  26. ^ "Turkish "Soap" Power...". International Strategic Research Organization. 
  27. ^ "Turkish soap operas popular in Greece because of cultural similarities". Today's Zaman. 2012-12-02. Retrieved 2013-01-15. 
  28. ^ "Bishop Anthimos Lashes Turkish tv series Fans". Greek Reporter. 2012-10-30. Retrieved 2013-01-15. 
  29. ^ "Daze of Our Lives". Odyssey.gr. Retrieved 2013-01-15. 
  30. ^ "Turkey’s soap operas touch Egypt’s heart". Daily News Egypt. 2013-01-10. Retrieved 2013-01-15. 
  31. ^ Owen Matthews (2011-09-05). "Turkish Soap Operas Are Sweeping the Middle East". Newsweek and The Daily Beast. Retrieved 2013-01-15. 
  32. ^ "Turks Put Twist in Racy Soaps". New York Times. 2010-06-17. 
  33. ^ "The Islamic World's Culture War, Played Out on TV Soap Operas - David Rohde". The Atlantic. Retrieved 2013-01-15. 
  34. ^ Buccianti, Alexandra. "Dubbed Turkish soap operas conquering the Arab world: social liberation or cultural alienation?". Arab Media & Society. Retrieved 2013-01-15. 
  35. ^ a b "Saudi scholar issues TV death fatwa - Middle East". Al Jazeera English. Retrieved 2013-01-15. 
  36. ^ "Turquía sueña con el amor prohibido". La vanguardia. Retrieved September 15, 2015. 
  37. ^ "Fatamagul lures arab tourists". The National. Retrieved September 16, 2015. 
  38. ^ Nadia Bilbassy Charters. "Leave it to Turkish soap operas to conquer hearts and minds in the Arab world". Foreign Policy. Retrieved 2013-01-15. 
  39. ^ "Rating 2014: El año que privilegió a Mega". latercera. Retrieved September 15, 2015.  ""Kara Para Aşk": Nueva turca de Mega baja su rating". Fotech. Retrieved September 16, 2015.  "¿El principio del fin de las telenovelas turcas? Rotundo éxito del final de "Fatmagül" no se estaría dando en las otras producciones en pantalla". cambio. Retrieved September 16, 2015.  "Fatmagül superó a 'Al fondo hay sitio' en el rating". Trome.pe. Retrieved September 16, 2015.  "Las novelas turcas lideran el rating en Uruguay". republica.com.uy. Retrieved September 16, 2015. 
  40. ^ "Beren Saat Afgan Kadınlarını Uyarıyor". Dizisifilm. Retrieved September 15, 2015. 
  41. ^ http://www.tolo.tv/
  42. ^ "Iranian officials failing to stop of Turkish TV series". Hurriyetdailynews. Retrieved September 16, 2015. 
  43. ^ Turquía sueña con el amor prohibido
  44. ^ Soap Operas in the Arab World Yield Their Own Soft Power
  45. ^ [1]
  46. ^ a b [2]
  47. ^ [3]
  48. ^ Some in Pakistan threatened by Turkish TV invasion
  49. ^ Yusuf, Huma (2013-01-10). "Trashy Turkish TV Shows Can't Distract Pakistanis From Reality". NYTimes.com. Retrieved 2013-01-15. 
  50. ^ "Turkish Soap Operas Taken Off Air In Uzbekistan". Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty. 
  51. ^ "Sweden’s SVT buys hit Turkish drama". TBI Vision. 2012-09-27. 
  52. ^ http://www.middleeasteye.net/in-depth/features/turkish-tv-series-surge-popularity-worldwide-127494716#.dpuf
  53. ^ http://www.middleeasteye.net/in-depth/features/turkish-tv-series-surge-popularity-worldwide-127494716#.dpuf
  54. ^ http://www.middleeasteye.net/in-depth/features/turkish-tv-series-surge-popularity-worldwide-127494716#.dpuf
  55. ^ http://www.middleeasteye.net/in-depth/features/turkish-tv-series-surge-popularity-worldwide-127494716#.dpuf
  56. ^ http://www.middleeasteye.net/in-depth/features/turkish-tv-series-surge-popularity-worldwide-127494716#.dpuf
  57. ^ http://www.middleeasteye.net/in-depth/features/turkish-tv-series-surge-popularity-worldwide-127494716#.dpuf

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turkish_television_drama — Please support Wikipedia.
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65 news items

The Express Tribune

The Express Tribune
Sat, 20 Feb 2016 11:10:25 -0800

Turkish band Sultanat gave an enjoyable performance against the harbour's backdrop. A group of artists had dressed up as the cast of Turkish television drama, Mera Sultan, and were roaming around the festival taking pictures with fans. A huge panaflex ...


Wed, 02 Sep 2015 09:18:51 -0700

Feriha is a Turkish television drama series produced by Med Yapim. The series is about the life of a young and beautiful girl named Feriha Yilmaz, a doorkeeper's daughter, who gets into a university through full scholarship. Ever since her first day ...

Hurriyet Daily News

Hurriyet Daily News
Sun, 09 Nov 2014 13:56:15 -0800

With their increasing popularity in as many as 40 countries, Turkey's TV dramas are proving to be economically crucial and an indisputable soft power tool. Just ask the fans of Tuba Büyüküstün, an actress popular in Dubai, Moscow and Monte-Carlo.


Fri, 15 Jan 2016 04:30:16 -0800

One such show is the Turkish television drama, Feriha which traces the journey of a beautiful and ambitious lady hailing from a poor family. She's enrolled in an elite university through a scholarship and embarassed by her family background, she lies ...

Hurriyet Daily News

Hurriyet Daily News
Thu, 26 Mar 2015 06:10:40 -0700

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Hollywood Reporter

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Wed, 04 Mar 2015 02:12:56 -0800

Turkish television drama, which already dominates programming in the Middle East, is slowly making inroads in the U.S.. Read More TV Dramas From Turkey Draw Hollywood's Eye. In a pair of new deals, U.S. Hispanic networks MundoFox Broadcasting and ...

TBI Vision

TBI Vision
Thu, 27 Sep 2012 03:57:30 -0700

“We are excited to be the first major broadcaster in Western Europe to air a series from the vibrant Turkish television drama scene,” said. Göran Danasten, head of fiction at SVT. “The End is a great, and different addition to our drama slate.” The End ...

Hurriyet Daily News

Hurriyet Daily News
Wed, 15 Oct 2014 02:32:33 -0700

Turkey's National Anthem has been controversially reinterpreted to the tune of an ancient Islamic song during the latest episode of a popular Turkish television drama. Polat Alemdar, the lead character of the controversial “The Valley of the Wolves ...

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