Turkish TV series, a threat to conservative imaginations

TV serial industry is booming in Turkey. Now these are exported to Middle Eastern countries and some other countries (about exports coverage). Level of sexuality or political debates (“Hatirla sevgili”, Çemberimde gül oya) within the plots are making authorities uncomfortable. Not that I condone every TV serial but I observe this an exciting media emergence.

A funny viral message about Turkish serials in Facebook: “If you say never without my children watch Aliye, if you say I will eagerly get laid with others for my kid’s sake, watch 1001 gece, if you say my children can get laid young, watch Küçük Kadınlar, if you say my children can get laid with their buddies, watch Kavak Yelleri, if you say your all children will get laid with the same person, watch Yaprak dökümü, if you say all the can get laid with each other, watch Aşk-ı Memnu.
Some script lines are so popular, they have entered our everyday life speech (a list of lines from Valley of the Wolves here in Turkish)

But Ezel is the hottest serial at the moment. It beats Kurtlar vadisi in having more romance and oriented to both sexes. Valley of the Wolves was basically for men but Ezel is for both. It contains enough melodrama and violence to entertain both sides (official site).

Before the military service I used to watch “Avrupa yakasi” and Canim Ailem. After the service, I haven’t yet been attached to any Turkish serials. Avrupa Yakası is probably the best sit-com of the last decade in Turkey.

Probably one of the earliest serials to gain popularity is “Bizimkiler” (1989). A middle class family sit-com. From 1990s Süper Baba, “Mahallenin muhtarlari”, “Baba evi” and “Perihan Abla” are notable serials. Intellectuals got also interested in serials maybe en masse with the “Ikinci bahar”(Second Spring) (1999).
some hits before the current explosion: “Asmali konak” and “Bir Istanbul masali”

a very costly current serial of the current era: “Hanimin çiftligi”
Some others: “Melekler korusun”, “Hirsiz polis”, “Asi”, “Zerda”, “Deli yürek”, “Parmakliklar Ardinda”

Here is the list of exported serials again (source):
“Annem”, Arka Sokaklar, Asi, Berivan, Bıçak Sırtı, Elveda Derken, Genco, Kavak Yelleri, Kınalı Kar, Menekşe ile Halil, Yabancı Damat, Yaprak Dökümü, Yılan Hikayesi, Kaybolan Yıllar, Ihlamurlar altında,
“Gümüs” and Unutulmaz….

Recently there is trend to adapt old Turkish novels into serials. Many of the serials I mention above were indeed based on novels Reşat Nuri and Hüseyim Rahmi.

In the mean time, theologians and psychiatrists criticize these serials because they violate the social values and encourage adultery… In the mean time, Hürriyet tries to explain the popularity of serials here. But nothing you cannot guess. Instead you can see images of actors and actresses.

RTUK, Minister of Family and Women’s Affairs Lashes Out at Television Show

from Turkish Politics in Action by Ragan Updegraff

A popular Turkish television show featuring an adulterous relationship and sexual situations caught the ire of Family and Women’s Affairs Minister Selma Aliye Kavaf, who linked the television show to a WHO study on juvenie sexual activity in Turkey. The show, ?Aşk-ı Memnu? (Forbidden Love), has been fined twice now by the the Supreme Board of Radio and Television (RTUK). Hurriyet quotes Kavaf: ?When you consider someone below the age 18 as a child, and you accept 13 as the age for sexuality, this is child pornography.? For more details on the show, see Fatma Disli Zibak‘s reportage in Today’s Zaman.

Where There is Smoke..There is Tintin?

from Mavi Boncuk by M.A.M

Almost half of Turks aged 15 to 49 smoke, according to a 2007 Gallup survey and the government last year extended the ban to smoking in all public buildings, including restaurants and bars. But fining a TV station for the smoking habits of Chicago mafia bosses portrayed in a Tintin animation is idiotic, stupid and shames the common sense of Turks. Tintin? Be real and stop this mockery. The whole world is laughing.

4 thoughts on “Turkish TV series, a threat to conservative imaginations

  1. Like the post Erkan. Certainly room for thought after reading it. I tend not to watch the Turkish dizi’s that much. My knowledge of the Turkish language is not enough. I am ashamed to admit, that i could not do without my satellite dish!

  2. Once RTÜK warned a tv channel because in scene a guy holding a bottle of beer in his hands . Seems eroticism is a big crime, in fact i want all turkish series to be banned, i cannot watch tv because of them Roll eyes. Anyway this is simply akepe style, i wont be surprised in future if they try to censor the scenes which girl & boy holding eachother´s hand …

  3. Is there anywhere I can get the English translations of the novels these serials are based on. They sound compelling.

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