Turkish actress Songül Öden still ‘queen of dramas’ in the Middle East
ISTANBUL - Anadolu Agency
Actress Songül Öden is very popular in the Balkans and Middle Eastern countries for her role in the Turkish drama ‘Noor,’ in which she starred alongside heartthrob Kıvanç Tatlıtuğ. AA photoTurkish actress Songül Öden, who has been chosen as the Best Turkish Actress in the category of “Queen of Drama” in the Middle East, said, “The reason why I am welcomed in the Middle East is the character that I played in the drama ‘Noor’ is perceived as a model in Muslim societies.”
Öden has made many visits to Middle Eastern countries when the drama “Noor” (“Gümüş” in Turkish televisions) was so popular in the region.
“When I went to Qatar, I asked a female minister why they loved this drama so much. ‘We desperately needed love’ she replied. The woman in this drama is one who is not walking behind her husband, but next to him. They had a legal affair, they were married. They had a real affair. A man may love a woman, may give her presents, and may support her with her job. This is what they long for,” she said.
Öden said the drama was a model for Muslim societies, adding, “In this drama, people saw that a woman can be both a Muslim and a model; can both express herself and stick to customs and traditions. This model was a good one for them.”
Best Turkish actress
Last week, Öden was chosen as the Best Turkish Actress with votes from Arabic viewers in a poll of the Middle Eastern channel MBC. She said she became very pleased about it, and continued, “I made ‘Noor’ a long time ago. Many successful dramas were made after it. Still, viewers in the Middle East and the Balkans did not forget me. For example, Palestinian viewers came to my theater play last week. They do not follow a person only on television, but they follow this person all the time. In Lebanon, they asked me what to do for human rights. Then, I became the United Nations spokesman about violence against women. This is not only about being famous. People attribute to you very different meanings and you have more responsibility.”
Öden said she received drama and film proposals from many Middle Eastern countries, adding, “Lastly I acted in a comedy series in Saudi Arabia. I also acted in 12 episodes in a project of international Middle Eastern actors. It was shot in Egypt.” She said she was really impressed by Egypt’s view on broadcasting. “They respect laborers. For example, my contract is for eight hours a day and they never exceeded this time. The environment was very good. They have incredible film platforms supported by the state. We went to a platform in Egypt. They both created contemporary Egyptian streets and Alexandria. I was jealous of it. I want to see that in my own country. I don’t think Turkey’s investment on this issue is insufficient. This promotes our own culture in different geographies. Thanks to the TV series we have shot in recent years, many tourists from the Balkans and the Middle East visited Turkey.”
Her first play
Öden said she owed her success to her sisters, brother and mother as well as working too hard. She said she attached importance to everything about her profession, adding, “I am not satisfied with what I am doing. I want a different thing in every role. But, Federico Garcia Lorca’s play ‘Yerma’ is the first that brought me together with audiences at Ankara University. This is why it is so special for me.”
said she had no time to do other things other than acting. “I love to monitor people and life. I am really interested in other people’s lives. I think creativity starts here,” she concluded.