First Turkish drama shown in Latin America
‘Binbir Gece,’ starring Bergüzar Korel and Halit Ergenç, has been broadcast in Chile, becoming the first Turkish drama shown in Latin America.Reversing a historical trend, Turkish TV production “Binbir Gece” (A Thousand and One Nights) has become the first TV drama from the country to be shown in Latin America.
The first episode of the drama was recently broadcast in prime time in Chile and drew great interest from viewers.
Surprised by the drama’s high ratings, officials of local Chilean channel Mega TV said viewing figures for the first episode of the Turkish drama outstripped Latin American dramas on other channels.
Interest in Turkish dramas started when “Binbir Gece” was sold to Bulgaria five years ago, according to İzzet Pinto, who spoke at the media fair DISCOP Istanbul 2014. Speaking to Anadolu Agency about the success of Turkish dramas abroad in recent years, Pinto said they had barely persuaded Bulgaria to buy the drama.
“It was a hard process to persuade Bulgaria. Talks continued for a year. I told them ‘Please believe me, you will thank me later.’ The channel’s ratings increased fourfold and its officials thanked me. It gained such great success there that other countries, including Serbia, Croatia and Greece, began to buy it. It created a domino effect. Nearly five years have passed, and we have new countries. Now we are in China and Latin America, which are very important markets. We are exporting the series to 52-53 countries right now,” he said.
He said they had made the first presentation of “Binbir Gece” to Chile three years ago. In years past, Latin American soap operas provided a staple of Turkish television.
Speaking about a new drama, “Yasak,” Pinto said they believed they would be able to sell it to many countries, while adding that Turkish dramas still drew their largest interest from Middle East.
Pinto said they were now trying to enter the Western European market. “We are now in Italy and trying to enter Spain and France.”
By far the most successful Turkish drama is “Muhteşem Yüzyıl” (The Magnificent Century), Pinto said. “It broke rating records in many countries. Turkish dramas are broadcast in prime time, which means that nearly 200 million people watch Turkey every night.”