Turkish dramas focus of interest in Latin America
Turkey has exceeded $100,000 million in return from Turkish TV drama exports in recent years, and is now getting ready to collaborate with Latin American countries to enhance the industry, daily Hürriyet has reported.
The Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEİK) has been in efforts to mobilize and increase the contribution of Turkish dramas to tourism and trade.
“Projects with Latin American countries will contribute both to Turkey’s promotion and create a warm environment to increase trade,” said Aykut Eken, the chairman of DEİK Turkish-American Business Council.
Eken said Turkish TV dramas were among a list of key items on the agenda at a DEİK America Business Councils Chairmen Coordination meeting.
“Turkey’s total foreign trade volume with 33 Latin American countries is about $9 billion. It was only $2 billion in 2006. We are working to increase this amount every year. Turkey is popularly known in Latin American countries. There are lots of investment opportunities for Turkish businessmen there. We can export to Brazil, Mexico, Venezuela or Costa Rica,” he said.
“We introduced Turkey with TV series exports, which have exceeded $100 million. They make great contributions to promotion and tourism. Representatives of Latin American countries have also attended the meeting. We held talks on making a joint TV series with these countries. They will draw more audiences and also revive tourism. Many of the Turkish artists are famous in Latin American countries. We can include them in this work,” he said.
Cultural relations with Argentina are being improved thanks to the Turkish soap operas.
Turkish dramas, which are known in the country as “Telenovelas Turcas,” bring Turkey to audience’s living rooms.
As a result of growing popularity of Turkish dramas, an interest for Turkey from the country and the number of Argentine tourists visiting Turkey reached 83,000 in 2015 from 44,000 in 2014.
Nur Alkış, a former advisor to the Turkish Embassy in Argentine between 2013 and 2015, said the reason for the intense interest in Turkish dramas is because of their curiosity to know more about the Turkish culture as well as romantic scenarios.
“Now I only hear about ‘Küçük Gelin’ [Child Bride] but the broadcast of Turkish dramas started with ‘Binbir Gece’ [One Thousand and One Nights]. Later on, ‘Aşk-ı Memnu’ [Forbidden Love], ‘Fatmagül’ün Suçu Ne?’ [What is Fatmagül’s Fault] and ‘Ezel’ were broadcasted. Now there is a new drama in Turkey ‘Cesur ve Güzel’ [The Bold and the Beautiful]. They watch this drama on the internet with Spanish subtitles,” he said.
Alkış said he had been asked questions about what would happen in the next episodes in the dramas, or about life in Turkey.
“I used to ask them ‘why do you like these dramas so much?’ and they used to answer saying, ‘Films and dramas here do not have much romanticism, events develop fast. But in Turkish dramas, everything is more romantic. For example, there is a couple but their love develops slowly.’ They also have interest in Turkish family structures. They used to ask me ‘do Turks really take off their shoes before entering a house?’ They name their children after characters. Especially after 2015, we have heard from local media that some have named their children after the characters of ‘Binbir Gece;’ Onur and Şehrazat,” he said.