Turkish TV dramas play key role in ‘soft power,’ says culture minister
ISTANBUL – Anadolu Agency
Popular dramas are among the country’s most well-known economic and cultural exports, says Turkish Culture Minister Ömer Çelik (C). AA photoTurkey’s exports of home-grown television dramas play a key role in wielding “soft power” across the region, a Turkish culture minister has said.
By creating a lasting influence on Turkey’s image in the region, popular dramas are among the country’s most well-known economic and cultural exports, said Turkish Minister of Culture and Tourism Ömer Çelik June 12.
Çelik was speaking at the Istanbul Television Forum and Fair (İTVF), which was held in Istanbul.
Turkish television series have been sold in over 100 countries, contributing to a boom in the country’s domestic television industry.
In 2012, Turkish soap opera exports were worth around $200 million, up from $10,000 in 2004, Çelik added. Stating the most dynamic sector in the world is broadcasting, he said Turkish dramas shaped the cultural and economic life of people’s ordinary day.
“It is vital that pluralism finds itself in broadcasting, as it is the key factor for a dynamic culture. If a country rejects cultural diversity and tries to form a monotype society, it will be impossible for that country to have a voice in the world,” Çelik said.
Underlining that the world is a “global village,” Çelik said it would be wrong to become isolated in order to preserve national culture.
“We’re particularly proud to see Turkish dramas are broadcasted in 130 countries across the world, which means Turkish culture and life is being shared with many people of different cultures,” Zahid Akman, chair of the Association of Television Broadcasters, said while praising the success of Turkish TV dramas.
One particular success story has been “The Magnificent Century,” one of the most popular Turkish television dramas, which tells the life of the Ottoman Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent. The show has proven highly popular both in Turkey and internationally, being broadcasted in 43 countries and watched by over 200 million people.