Turkey’s TV drama exports exceed $250 million
ANTALYA/ISTANBULThe Turkish drama sector, which has steadily attracted fans across the world in recent years, exported series worth $250 million in 2015.
Turkish productions are now being broadcast in more than 70 countries, after Turkey first started to export TV dramas to the Turkic republics in 2001, followed by the Balkans, the Middle East and Latin America. Drama exports hit $200 million in 2014 and $250 million in 2015, sector representatives told state-run Anadolu Agency.
Around 70 new dramas are produced annually in Turkey, according to Beşir Tatlı, the head of production company Calinos Holding.
“Around half of them are successful in the domestic market and continue to be aired. Around 10-15 percent end up being exported abroad,” Tatlı said, adding that Turkey’s annual drama exports are expected to exceed $300 million in 2016.
Dramas need to reflect the particularities of society as well as universal values in order to keep posting high export figures, he also said.
Turkish TV series are estimated to reach over 400 million viewers across the world and the sector has now defined new markets to expand into, including South American and Scandinavian countries. Indonesia, Malaysia, India and China are also on the radar of distribution companies.
According to official data, Turkish dramas were previously sold for between $35 and $50 per episode. Today, these prices vary between $500 and $200,000 per episode.
One notable success story is “The Magnificent Century” (Muhteşem Yüzyıl), which focuses on the life of the 16th century Ottoman Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent. Although accused by some of distorting history, the show proved hugely popular both in Turkey and internationally, being broadcast in 43 countries and watched by over 200 million people.
Among the countries where Turkish dramas are being broadcast are Argentina, Bolivia, Germany, Albania, Austria, Azerbaijan, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Bosnia Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Algeria, Czech Republic, Indonesia, China, Estonia, Morocco, Georgia, Croatia, Iraq, Iran, Sweden, Switzerland, Qatar, Kazakhstan, South Korea, Kosovo, Kuwait, Uzbekistan, Libya, Lithuania, Lebanon, Hungary, Macedonia, Malaysia, Egypt, Pakistan, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Syria, Thailand, Taiwan, and Greece.