Turkish television series are celebrating unprecedented success on the world stage, and providing an insight into the politics and mood of their country along the way. We take a look at the emerging nation’s broadcasting phenomenon.
MTM (Turkish Media Monitoring) do with TV series what the stock markets do with company results. They evaluate the success of each programme and present their findings to the public in figures. Which series’ ratings have dropped and which have risen, and when? Which series has ousted which from the top spot? The commercial success of TV programmes in Turkey has reached such an extent that seven-figure numbers are now commonplace when it comes to viewing figures and sales success, and this prosperity has ushered in a new chapter in the country’s television history.
This trend has emerged amid a combination of economic growth, political energy and national pride. The success of Turkish television series has triggered entirely new consumption patterns that have generated both society-wide change and a new sense of home. Even Greece, whose relationship with Turkey has been damaged by a number of political conflicts, has proven itself powerless in the face of a formidable new dynasty that seems to have entranced the Greek population. Since the pilot episode of “Borders of Love” was broadcast on Mega TV in 2005, the Greek media finally appear to have been won over by Turkish productions.
When Greek channels sought an alternative to costly television productions in the wake of the 2010 financial crisis, they found their answer by purchasing cheap and successful seasons of television shows from Turkish producers. Turkey has been making a name for itself on the international stage with successful programming for some time, with production companies such as Russia’s World Studios and the USA’s Sander/Moses acquiring all the remake rights to Turkish serials. This success is no coincidence. Production costs per episode now run into the millions, while the country’s television programmes have generated up to $150 million in sales over the past few years.

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