Russian fund eager for joint investment with Turkey in media, TV series
Emine Kart ANKARA
The popular TV series 'Muhteşem Yüzyıl' (The Magnificent Century) has also captivated Russians.Popular throughout much of the region, Turkish soap operas have attracted a new suitor in the form of a young Russian businessman who hopes the television series can improve people-to-people relations and become a promising area for future partnership between the two countries.
“Turkish television series are very popular in Russia,” Kirill Dmitriev said on Dec. 1 during a speech on diversifying fields of bilateral cooperation in joint investments with Turkey in areas such as engineering, infrastructure and logistics, in addition to the existing cooperation in construction field.
“All of my friends are watching it,” said Dmitriev, who runs Russia’s sovereign wealth fund, the $10 billion Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), referring to the popular TV series “Muhteşem Yüzyıl” (The Magnificent Century).
Turkey’s experience in media is significant, Dmitriev said. “Turkish television series are very popular in Russia and frankly one of the most popular television series is coming from Turkey to Russia. So I think it is also possible to grow joint media projects.”
The series are very important because they help Russia learn much more about the history and culture of Turkey while bringing the two countries’ people closer together, Dmitriev said. “I think that is important because … we live in a world where people try to divide.”
When asked whether Russian people were pleased with the way their own history has been displayed in the same series, Dmitriev said: “We understand that some of it is fiction and some of it is history. But the whole idea is we need to share common media things as well. That is important.”
“Muhteşem Yüzyıl,” Turkey’s most popular TV series, reached hundreds of millions around the world before its finale in its 139th episode in June. The TV series, which is based on the story of the harem of 16th-century Ottoman Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent, who conquered more than 40 countries from Arabic-speaking lands to the Balkans, especially captivated the nations that were previously under Ottoman control.