Monday, 11 July 2016


“A real friend tells the bitter truth.” – Turkish Proverb

We have just started watching a Turkish TV series at the moment. This is the fifth we have seen and I must say that overall I am quite impressed by the excellent standards of production, well-written scripts, faultless direction and great acting. Turkey is a large country with immense resources and a large population. Its economy is healthy enough to support many different industries with movie-making and TV series production definitely falling into the category of an economic success story.

TV series are amazingly popular both in Turkey and internationally, and are among the country’s most well known economic and cultural exports. Turkey is world’s second highest TV series exporter after the USA. The television series industry has played an immense role in increasing Turkey’s exposure in the Balkans, the Caucasus, Russia, Latin America, Turkic countries, Central Asia, Azerbaijan, Iran, the Arab world and Pakistan.

The shows are almost always available in multiple languages, dubbed or subtitled to fit the target country’s language. The success of Turkish television series has boosted tourism as well, as visitors are keen to see the locations used for their favourite shows. The Turkish TV series' sudden immense international popularity since the 2000s has been widely commented on as a social phenomenon.

Needless to say that there have been some negative comments also, some countries abhorring the “cultural invasion” and lamenting the fact that their own home-produced series fail to entice viewers to keep turning on the TV to watch the next episode… These ultra-nationalists should remember that quality does not have a home country and that despite our country of origin and the basic humanity we all should possess is independent of language and national culture. Good is good wherever it comes from.

Production costs of TV series in Turkey average at nearly $100,000 per hour for high quality series. In 2012, Turkish TV series exports were worth $130 million, up from just $1 million in 2007. Turkish series are mostly produced in Istanbul, as television companies chose to settle there after the wave of liberalisation for private television in the 1990s. 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.

I have reviewed Turkish series and movies here before, for example: the Series What is Fatmagül’s Fault?” and the movie “MyGrandfather’s People”, another movie “From the Sea”. I will not review the TV series we are watching yet, as we have only seen a few episodes, but it seems to be a good one. When we have finished it, I’ll review it here.

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